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Compass Regional Hospice Gala

Mar 18, 2016 01:24PM ● By Becca Newell

Gala committee members Cathy Adelman, Kim Kratovil, Heather Guerieri, Diane Pappas, Kathy Ciambruschini and Marty Wash; standing, Kenda Leager, Kathy Deoudes, Joyce Davis, Biana Arentz, Paula Warner, Teresa Baumann, Janice Feeley, Sandy Mitchell, Julie McMahan Thomas, and Debbie Houck

More than 200 hospice supporters attended the Compass Regional Hospice Gala held at Annie’s Paramount Steak & Seafood House in Grasonville on Friday, March 4th.

Continuing a tradition of giving that has sustained hospice in Queen Anne’s County for 30 years, the Gala guests helped raise $126,000 for hospice care and grief support programs.

Compass Regional Hospice was founded in 1985 as Hospice of Queen Anne’s to provide hospice care for the people of Queen Anne’s County. Today Compass Regional Hospice is the sole provider of hospice services for people of all ages in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline Counties.

“We were so pleased that once again the Gala was a sold-out event,” says Heather Guerieri, executive director, Compass Regional Hospice. “We offer special gratitude for the many individuals and businesses that sponsored and donated auction items for our largest fundraising event of the year.”

The top tier Navigation sponsors for the 2016 Gala were the Kent Island American Legion Post 278 and Tri Gas & Oil Co., Inc. Celestial sponsors for the event were CNB; R. B. Baker & Sons, Inc.; Alan and Penny Griffith; Human Resources, Inc.; Queenstown Bank of Maryland; Swan Cove Day Spa and Salon; and University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.

The Gala Horizon sponsors were Kathy and Nick Deoudes; Edwards Pharmacy; Mullen, Sondberg, Wimbish & Stone, PA; Diane and Peter Pappas; Paula’s Fine Jewelry; and Willow Construction, LLC.

Paula Warner of Paula’s Fine Jewelry in Grasonville sponsored a jewelry raffle that raised $10,000. The winner of the raffle chose a piece of jewelry donated by Warner for the cause.

In addition to Heather Guerieri and Kenda Leager and Marty Wash of the Compass Regional Hospice development staff a committee of board members and community supporters worked for months to plan every detail of this fundraiser. Gala committee member included board officers Kathy Deoudes, chair, Teresa Baumann, vice chair, Janice Feeley, secretary, and board members Martha Baker, Kathy Ciambruschini, Joyce Davis and Diane Pappas. Community supporters on the committee were Cathy Adelman, Biana Arentz, Debbie Houck, Kim Kratovil, Sandy Mitchell, Julie McMahan Thomas and Paula Warner.

Amid the fun, food and auction bidding Gala guests heard stories about how local businesses and families have served and been served by Compass Regional Hospice.

Two local businesses – Queenstown Bank and CNB – received special recognition at the Gala for their longstanding support of Compass Regional Hospice. Tom Rhodes, President of Queenstown Bank, and Ed Allen, President, CNB, accepted philanthropy awards on behalf of their organizations.

Rhodes, who has personally been a hospice supporter for 30 years, served as the Hospice of Queen Anne’s treasurer when the non-profit hospice organization was formed in 1985. Allen is a member of the Compass Regional Hospice board of directors and has witnessed firsthand how the organization serves the community through his granddaughter, who has attended the Camp New Dawn summer grief retreat for children, teens and families. Both executives have also seen how Compass Regional Hospice has been a valuable resource for the people who work at the banks they operate.

Special guest Stephanie Wishart helped the Gala attendees better understand the importance of their financial support by telling how Compass Regional Hospice helped her family. Wishart, who lives on Kent Island with her husband, Brett and their two children, teaches at Matapeake Middle School. She became familiar with Compass Regional Hospice as a volunteer for Camp New Dawn. She and her family had a more personal encounter with hospice when her grandfather neared the end of his life.

“My grandfather was an amazing man,” Wishart told the Gala guests. “He lived his life to the fullest for his 95 years on this Earth. Even with bone and prostate cancer and a number of other health issues he never complained, and always had a positive attitude.”

When Wishart’s grandfather began to fail she convinced her father and brother that it was time to get help from Compass Regional Hospice. Wishart made one call to hospice and within 24 hours her grandfather was tucked into a private room at the Hospice Center in Centreville.

“Once we arrived at the Hospice Center I felt an immediate sense of relief,” Wishart remembered. “The nurses treated my grandfather and me like we were their own family. During my times of sadness and distress the nurses didn’t hesitate to embrace me while I cried. They made me feel like my grandfather’s comfort and my emotional needs were their top priorities.”

Ending her story, Wishart told Gala guests, “My grandfather was able to die surrounded by those he loved and with top notch care. They cried with us over our loss. They supported us through one of the most painful and life changing events of our lives.”

Wishart explained that the Compass Regional Hospice staff has stayed in touch with her and her family for the months following her grandfather’s death. “We felt so blessed when each of us received cards in the mail that were signed by the entire hospice staff. Being in such a loving, supportive environment has provided comfort during a time of grief.”

Kenda Leager, development officer for Compass Regional Hospice, says, “We rely on fundraising events like the Gala and donations from the community for at least 30 percent of our operating budget. Proceeds from the Gala make it possible for us to say ‘Yes’ to anyone who needs our services regardless of their ability to pay.”

Compass Regional Hospice is headquartered at 255 Compass Drive in Centreville. For more information about the hospice and grief support services available in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline Counties, call 443-262-4100 and visit