Lions donation first of many as two local clubs pledge annual contributions for next five years

From left to right, Prince Albert Lions Club president Garry Beaudry, Rose Garden Hospice board chair Cheryle Elliott, and MacDowall and District Lions Club president Glen Tait pose for a photo during Saturday’s cheque presentation in Prince Albert on Saturday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The Prince Albert Lions Club made the first of what they hope will be many donations in their quest to raise $100,000 for the new Rose Garden Hospice.

Lions Club president Gerry Beaudry presented a $15,000 cheque to Rose Garden board chair Cheryl Elliott on Saturday as part of a pledge to raise $25,000 over the next five years.

“I’ve toured a couple of hospices in B.C. when my Dad was ill, and just the comfort that the families were getting made a big impression on me,” Beaudry said afterwards. “When I heard about this I thought, ‘this is something I’m going to push for.” It came near and dear to my heart.”

The Prince Albert club wasn’t the only Lions Club making financial commitments to the hospice. The MacDowall and District Lions Club also pledged to raise $5,000 over the next five years. Club president Glen Tait made the first $1,000 donation on behalf of the organization on Saturday.

“I think it’s something that’s really needed in the city,” Tait said. “When it’s one of your last days, I think it should be in peace with family, and not in the hospital.”

Ideally, the Lions would like to raise enough to build a volunteer room at the new hospice. That would cost somewhere around $100,000, but Beaudry said he’s hoping to see more local Lions Clubs jump in and support the project.

“We’ve got six more clubs that I’m going to twist their arm and see if we can get it up there,” he chuckled.

Cheryl Elliott was one of two Rose Garden Hospice representatives on hand to accept the donations. She said they’re grateful for local groups like the Lions who’ve come forward to support the hospice.

“We realize how much work it takes to raise this kind of money,” she said during the presentation. “We just want to thank you all very much.”