Car dealerships team up for $100,000 hospice donation

The Prince Albert Automobile Dealers' Association poses for a photo with Rose Garden Hospice board members on Feb. 6, 2020. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

The Rose Garden Hospice campaign got a major boost Thursday.

Ten local car dealerships banded together for the second-largest announced donation so far, second only to Malcolm Jenkins’ $500,000 pledge from early 2019.

The Prince Albert Automobile Dealers’ Association (PAADA) contributed $100,000, made up of $10,000 from each of their dealers. As far as PAADA president Joe Weinrich knows, it’s the single largest donation the association has ever made.

“For us, it was a no-brainer,” he said.

“As a group, we typically get together … and we might meet and decide when we’re going to do holiday hours, that sort of thing. We did end up getting a request from the Hospice. We figured that together, as a group, we could do a much better job and it was a more sizable donation than we could (make) individually and make a big difference.”

The association typically makes smaller donations, such as contributions to the food bank, from its membership feeds.

“We’ve never done anything to this scale,” Weinrich said.

“Typically every dealer supports the community well. If you ever look at a major fundraiser and look at the poster to see who’s sponsored, you can almost guarantee there’s a car dealer on that list.:

 Weinrich said it didn’t take much convincing to get the ten dealerships on board.

“It was amazing,” he said. “We’re all competitors, but we all got together and there were no questions. Everybody immediately joined in and we were quite excited to put together this donation. It’s important for us to be a part of it.”

Representatives from the member dealerships all gathered at the Rose Garden Hospice in the Gateway Mall Thursday to present the donation to Hospice board members Marina Mitchell and Ralph Boychuk.

“It’s the second-largest announced (donation) to date,” Boychuk said.

“It’s just an amazing contribution from a group that collectively meets every so often to discuss their own economy. The automobile association just has amazed us in their aggressive approach to helping us out. It was a pleasant surprise to receive this donation.”

With everything that has been pledged so far, the Rose Garden Hospice has raised $2.2 million out of the estimated $4 million it will take to complete the project.

Once it’s built, the hospice will receive up to $2 million per year in operating funds from the province, beginning in 2021.

The finished hospice will have a non-denominational chapel or contemplation, prayer, quiet gatherings and celebration. The 10,000-square-foot facility will house ten beds.

Operations will include expert care providers such as health practitioners, therapists, a social worker, spiritual care providers and others committed to personalizing and humanizing end-of-life care.

“When you have something in the community that’s lacking, and as an organization, you can help out — for me, personally, it’s one of those things that’s near and dear to my heart,” Weinrich, who is also a co-owner of Riverside Dodge, said.

“I want to make sure that everyone who ha a family member that’s in a situation where they need a hospice has a good place to go where they can take advantage of that.”

Boychuk said the board is happy with where it is in the process. In addition to having just over half the required amount fundraised, the hospice board recently appointed a project manager in Miller Contracting and is about to begin the tendering process. Design work has already been done by aobdt. The project also has a building committee, which includes experts in various areas of construction and planning.

“We are bang on time with exactly where we wanted to be,” he said.

‘We had it in our minds that the spring would be the timeline to put the shovels in the ground. We’re really comfortable with that right now.”