Wine group sips its way to Rose Garden Hospice donation

(From left to right) Evert Botha and Ian Litzenberger of WinesdaYPA, Amy Hadley and Kyle Novicki of Amy's on Second Restaurant and Marina Mitchell and Ralph Boychuk of the Rose Garden Hospice Association pose for a cheque presentation at the Cornerstone Lake Country Co-op liquor store on June 4, 2020. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

The Rose Garden Hospice is one step closer to opening its doors thanks to a nearly $10,000 donation from the local fundraiser WinesdaYPA.

According to Evert Botha, who’s part of the group that started the fundraiser, WinesdaYPA brings together dozens to enjoy fine food and wines. The get togethers occur on the last Wednesday of every month.

In the past year, they’ve been held at Amy’s On Second Restaurant. Since its formation in 2016, the fundraiser has supported the Prince Albert SPCA, the Prince Albert Early Childhood Intervention Program and now the Rose Garden Hospice Association.

“Hospice beds and palliative care beds in our community are few and far between,” said Botha, also the city councillor for ward 3.

Not only will a hospice increase capacity at the Victoria Hospital, he said, it will provide terminally ill patients with a much needed home-like setting.

“End of life dignity, it’s something that is very, very much needed in our community.”

Botha said regulars of the event get to choose the charity. They donate a portion of the ticket sales, the money from wine auctions and proceeds from the ‘silver bucket.’

With its ten wine nights in the past year, WinesdaYPA raised $9,966.77 for the Rose Garden Hospice.

The organization is named after Chair Marina Mitchell’s mother. Amy Hadley, the owner of Amy’s on Second Restaurant, said she knew Rose.

With a passion for fashion, Rose frequently shopped at the clothing store that was next to the restaurant.

“Rose was just a beautiful person. She always looked like a million dollars. That’s why I was trying to dress up a little bit,” Hadley joked.

“I very much believe in the hospice and what it’s going to do for people of the whole surrounding area of P.A., so I’m thrilled to give back and support it.”

So far, the Rose Garden Hospice Association has raised about $2.4 million of its $4 million goal.

The fundraiser wouldn’t be possible without the wine, of course.

Aaron Winsor and Ian Litzenberger of Lake Country Co-op Wine, Spirits and Beer, as well as Doug Reichel, placed special orders to provide wines that aren’t normal to the market.

“It’s kind of a no brainer to get involved when you’re part of the industry and you can help the city,” said Litzenberger.

“It just seemed like the perfect fit to progress more…in terms of using my resources and find reps and vendors and different wines to bring to P.A.”

Litzenberger also helped start the fundraiser, recognizing the desire for regular wine tasting events in the city.

Attendees get to sample three wines per event, meaning they’ve sampled about 150 wines since the start of WindesdaYPA.

Botha isn’t sure how the fundraiser will roll out this year because of COVID-19. He said each event would need to bring in between 50 and 60 people to be beneficial from a fundraising perspective and to be worthwhile for their restaurant partner.