Once again East End Hospice (EEH) held its annual summer gala on the beautiful grounds of the Sandacres estate along the shore line of Quantuck Bay in Quogue. This years’ gala was entitled An Enchanted Evening and indeed it was for the almost 1,000 attendees in support of this essential organization. For over 20 years the Potts family has generously turned over Sandacres to EEH for the gala.
First certified in 1991, EEH has provided in-home care for almost 10,000 terminally ill patients and their families on the East End and no one is ever denied care because of an inability to pay. Last year EEH broke ground on an in-patient care facility on a six-acre plot of waterfront property in Quiogue that was donated by its owner in a last will and testimony and designated to be used for hospice purposes. The beautiful facility, designed by the renowned Roger Ferris and Partners architectural firm, will be able to service eight patients at a time with construction scheduled to begin this summer.
The capital campaign for raising funds for the facility is called “Building the Dream” and has a goal of $10 million to include a $2 million endowment to sustain the facility. So far the campaign has raised over half of the money needed to reach its goal. The gala is EEH’s major yearly fundraiser, but private donations are welcomed, appreciated and very sorely needed.
EEH’s founding inspiration was the result of Dorothy Pell Savage (1919-1995), who cared for her husband Hugh at home rather than hospital after he was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer in 1983. Educating herself in hospice care, her idea was embraced by the community and EEH was founded. For 14 years the Dorothy Pell Savage Good Samaritan Award has been presented in her memory and this year’s honoree was the Reverend Dr. Charles M. Cary of the Westhampton Presbyterian Church. Reverend Cary was also presented with a Southampton Proclamation by Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst. The presentations took place after opening remarks by EEH President and CEO Pricilla Ruffin, EEH Board Chairman W. Michael Pitcher and Capital Campaign Chairman L. Wesley Lowd.
Once again this year’s Mistress of Ceremonies was Bonnie Grice of Peconic Bay Broadcasting (WPBB 88.3 FM). Along with fabulous hors d’oeuvres, the delicious buffet style dinner was supplied by Beth D’Alessio Catering and the evening’s musical entertainment was the Julie Bluestone Band, who kept the dance floor filled.
Gala chairpersons Betsy Rowe and Georgia Hatch and their committee did a fantastic job in putting together the 2013 gala, which included casino gambling, a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction and several live auctions. One of which was to sponsor children for EEH’s Camp Good Grief five day summer bereavement program for children ages four to15 who are struggling with the loss of a parent, sibling or other close relative.
East End Hospice, over two decades compassionately serving the needs of East End families and their loved ones during the difficult and challenging time when end of life care is needed. State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle was in attendance and perhaps summed it best, “Hospice for families is a critically important component in end of life care, particularly in the medically underserved East End. East End Hospice has created a program that is the standard by which all hospice care should be measured.”