AMVETS Post No. 777 Auxiliary has hosted the Hospice of Wyandot County dinner for 21 of the past 26 years. This year’s proceeds added to the past 20 years’ results in a milestone donation of more than $104,600.
November 1989 was the first dinner hosted by the AMVETS, which was a steak dinner without an auction, resulting in $509. Throughout the 20 years of spaghetti dinners, 16 were followed by an auction.
In addition to the AMVETS successful event, Modern Woodmen stepped up in 2006, 2010 and 2012 by matching $2,500, which brings the 21-year total to over $112,000.
In the first years, the women of the AMVETS Auxiliary asked local and area merchants and individuals for donations for the auction. In recent years, solicitations have been organized by Hospice volunteers and the Hospice volunteer coordinator.
The auxiliary women historically have made the meal. Since most of the ingredients also are donated, the recipe may vary a little each year, however what never changes is the quality and taste of the spaghetti sauce which results when making such large amounts.Â In addition to spaghetti, a tossed salad, lightly fried bread stick and a variety of desserts is included. The crowd attending ranges from 200 to 250 people.
Several years ago, the weather was very snowy and there were weather warnings out. The dinner was almost canceled, but since the food was prepared, the event continued. That year may have been the largest crowd ever and it was thought that local people wanted to stay in town so many discovered the fun activities of the dinner and auction at the AMVETS.
Bob Shaw has been the volunteer auctioneer for 15 out of the 16 years. When he was unable to do it this year, Hospice Social Worker Kathy Scott enlisted her husband, Jay Scott, to volunteer and the auction continued on without complication.
Some of the auction items included a Pandora bracelet, box of candy, roll of carpet, Jacuzzi room and a Harley Davidson jacket. There normally is something of interest for everyone attending. This year, there were several tip boards, opportunities to spin the wheel for prizes and a few raffles. At times, a bargain can be found and at other times it seems the bidding is rampant. The highest bid was several years ago, when an old sketch with its original wood frame of the local “crooked tree” donated by Mr. and Mrs. George Walton went for $610.
The funds raised are used to help care for people in Wyandot County who have terminal illness and are no longer seeking aggressive, curative treatment for their disease. Hospice also provides grief support for those who have lost a loved one. Local volunteers are trained and Hospice is always looking for people who may be interested in assisting either in direct care, office work or fundraising efforts. No one is asked to do anything that makes them uncomfortable or to give more time than they are able to give.
Less than half of Hospice’s patients have cancer as Hospice also cares for those with disease of the heart, kidney and lungs; end stage Alzheimer’s Disease; debility; and neuro and muscular disorders. Donations supplement any reimbursement from insurance, Medicare or Medicaid to provide visits, medications, equipment, supplies, oxygen and more to manage the comfort of the patients. Patients may reside in their own home or a local skilled nursing or assisted living facility.
Anyone who can benefit from this support or has any questions about Hospice care should contact the office at 419-294-5787.