Double donations from Prakash Consulting twice as nice

Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald Rose Garden Hospice board members Marina Mitchell (far left) and Ralph Boychuk (far right) join Jim Brown and Ravi Prakash (middle left and middle right) for a $15,000 donation Friday. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

After almost 12 years of advocacy, Don Daschuk can finally see the finish line.

Don’s wife, Rose Daschuk, passed away in hospital after a battle with cancer. Don, along with his daughter, Marina Mitchell, has been advocating for better care since.

In 2008, the Rose Garden Hospice board was founded, named after Don’s wife. Their vision was to build a better facility where families could be together as loved ones’ lives came to an end. Somewhere dignified to die, surrounded by friends and families.

“It’s very emotional at times,” Don said of the project that he spearheaded with a handful of others more than a decade ago.

“I did not realize this project would be so challenging. Over time, as we seem like we’re getting close, the goalpost seems to move on us. This time, COVID has really thrown some curves at us. It’s a testament to everyone here that we’re sticking with it.”

The plan was to get shovels in the ground last year, but then the pandemic hit, and fundraising slowed.

Now, though, the board has raised over $2.6 million, and intends to start construction as soon as the ground thaws.

But there was another catch — since going out to tender, costs had dramatically risen. OSB sheeting for the outside of the building went from $9.05 pre-COVID to $41.75 per sheet now — a 371 per cent increase.

Studs went up too — a major cost of construction tripling in price.

Don, who leads the building committee, isn’t giving up.

The committee had the building redesigned, taking out the basement and simplifying the design to make it simpler and cheaper to build.

“Wherever we could cut — any of the extras that could be added later we did,” Don said.

“We wanted our building to have good bones and function for us.”

He added that their board is now appealing to manufacturers of lumber and OSB to see if anyone can help them out with a donation or cheaper supplies to help bring down the cost of construction.

“This last year has been a year no one could predict,” Don said. “We just have to deal with the challenges as best we can. It’s a testament to everyone here that we’re sticking with it.”

The other thing the hospice still needs is funds. It got $15,000 closer to that goal Friday with a donation from Prakash Consulting — the second donation the firm has made in two years.

In 2019 they contributed $10,000.

They also committed Friday to oversee construction administration and inspections.

Owner Ravi Prakash said his business likes to donate to good causes and has frequently done so over its 40 years in operation.

“We are all going to be (at the hospice), it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“You want to go in a dignified way. A hospital is not the right place.”

Prakash said his inspiration in donating to the hospice came in part from Jim Brown, a friend of Don’s who got involved in the project a few years ago.

Aside from working on structural drawings for the project in his job with Prakash Consulting, Brown also sits on the design committee.

“This project has been a long time coming,” Brown said.

“It’s such a needed facility. It’s more like home. It’s comfortable and quiet and will provide the care needed until the very end.”

That need is why Don is keeping at it, despite all the obstacles that have been thrown his way.

“Anyone who has gone through a terminal disease knows what it’s about. They get it,” he said.

“The hospital does a great job of what they do, but they’re really not set up for end-of-life care with a family.”