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On Wednesday August 4th, the Crossroads Hospice Society team had the opportunity to show our heartfelt appreciation for Colette Eng, past Crossroads Hospice Foundation Board Chair, and Bob Tanaka, past Crossroads Hospice Foundation Board Treasurer for their incredible leadership, volunteerism and dedication to Crossroads Hospice Society.
Colette and Bob have tirelessly given their time and resources to Crossroads Hospice Society. They have both served on the Society and Foundation board. Their generosity and support has greatly helped Crossroads provide compassionate, quality hospice care and grief support to our local community.
As their time on the Board of Directors draws to a close, the entire Crossroads Hospice Society family would like to express our sincere gratitude for their service. Board service is the toughest volunteer role and Colette and Bob have took on their board duties with dedication, grace and compassion. We know that this is not goodbye, but simply a see you later. We look forward to staying in touch with Colette and Bob for years to come!
We were able to sit down with Colette and reminisce her heartwarming, colourful and meaningful journey with Crossroads. Her words of reflection, advice and history was so valuable for the Crossroads team...We wanted to share it with all of you!
My father passed away in 1996, he was 55 years old and I was 27 years old. I had no experience with someone close to me passing away. I was fortunate to be able to participate in an eight week program with Crossroads for people suffering a loss, and it was tremendously helpful for me.
I started volunteering shortly after I completed the grief program, in 1997. My first volunteer project was wrapping Christmas presents at the New Westminster mall for donations to Crossroads. I attended events such as Treasures of Christmas & Hike for Hospice and was able to get my company (Westminster Savings Credit Union) involved. I joined the Society Board as a board member, then held the role of Board Chair for two years. During my tenure as Board Chair, the board completed a new Strategic Plan for the organization. During the same period, I volunteered in the hospice as a visiting volunteer for a couple years and that was the most rewarding experience of all. While on the board and thereafter, I also participated on several committees. I joined the Foundation board in 2015 for six years, of which I was chair for several years.
One client of the hospice, Dennis Mousseau, decided to start fundraising during his final days in the hospice by putting out a request for 'pennies for hospice'. He was very successful and myself and some other staff from the credit union spent many hours at the dining room table in the hospice wrapping pennies. A picture of which made it onto my retirement card from the credit union!
The people; I have enjoyed working with several executive directors and staff as well as many volunteers over the years. I am grateful for all the relationships I have made through Crossroads.
We are fortunate to have a stand alone hospice in our community. There was no standalone hospice when my dad was sick, Crossroads was only a service organization that worked out of Eagle Ridge Hospital. The hospice is a calm, comfortable, home-like setting for someone experiencing end of life and for their families. Having skilled nurses and staff gives patients and their families peace of mind during this difficult and uncertain time.
We must always remember our core objective is making the end of life as comfortable as possible during a very difficult period in people's lives. Supporting clients and their families through this journey should always be our priority.