Prince Albert Quilt Guild donates 15 handmade quilts to Rose Garden Hospice

President of the Prince Albert Quilt Guild Gail Kenzie-Taylor and Rose Garden Hospice Association Secretary Victoria Elliott-Erickson shake hands in front of the members of the guild. -- Bailey Sutherland/Daily Herald

Rose Garden Hospice guests will be welcomed with warmth thanks to a generous donation by members of the Prince Albert Quilt Guild.

Fifteen hand-made quilts were presented to the secretary and longest-standing board member of the Rose Garden Hospice Association, Victoria Elliott-Erickson, during a PA Quilt Guild business meeting on Tuesday evening. Don Daschuk, visionary behind the hospice, was also in attendance.

“On behalf of the Rose Garden Hospice Association I would really like to thank you for this donation,” said Elliott-Erickson. “These quilts are beautiful and I’m sure they will brighten the rooms. Not only the guests themselves, but the families and close friends will appreciate the bits of colour that each of them brings. They will be well-loved by the people that receive them.”

Construction for the new Rose Garden Hospice began in July of 2021, but the project has been underway for the last 14 years. The facility is named for Daschuk’s wife, Rose, who passed away after a short bout with cancer. 

“Almost everybody on the board has had someone who passed away from a terminal illness,” said Elliott-Erickson, who shared that her husband passed away in hospital after a battle with leukemia. “For any one of us who have had a loved one pass (away) in an acute care facility, the experience can be unsatisfactory.”

The Rose Garden Hospice will primarily serve those requiring end of life care in Prince Albert and surrounding areas and will also offer grief and loss counselling to the families and friends of the guests, according to Elliott-Erickson.

Large windows surrounding the building offer a “home-like” environment for those needing palliative hospice care, said Elliott-Erickson. An area for families that is equipped with a kitchen, living, and dining room will also be available to make the experience at the hospice as comfortable as possible.

“Each room is pretty much self-contained. It has its own private bath with a walk-in shower unit and a bed much larger than one in a typical hospital room,” said Elliott-Erickson. Each individual guest room will be equipped with a chair that turns into a single bed, “so that nobody has to be alone at night.”

Over $4 million has been raised in support of the hospice since the not for profit organization’s establishment in 2008. Several years ago, 10 acres of land were donated to the Rose Garden Hospice Association by the late Fred Trach to build the proposed 10 bed facility. Construction is nearing completion, with a tentative opening for guests projected near the end of March 2023.

Elliott-Erickson mentioned that the donated parcel of land still has enough space to develop another palliative hospice facility of the same nature sometime in the future either by the Rose Garden Hospice Association or by a similar organization.

President of the PA Quilt Guild, Gail Kenzie-Taylor, said she personally asked the guild to consider donating to Rose Garden Hospice and is looking forward to keeping the organization on their contribution list indefinitely. 

“We work very hard at trying to help organizations in our community, Rose Garden Hospice being just one,” said Kenzie-Taylor. “We’re just a big compassionate group that love to quilt, our group has gotten a bit smaller, but it just seems like the donations keep on coming in. It’s kind of magical what we do.”

Over the last year and a half, the guild managed to create and donate upwards of 90 quilts to Ukrainian refugees and several different care homes around the Prince Albert area.