A “Hospicious” Occasion

By Sandra Zunino

The Hospice of Queen Anne’s is literally rolling out the red carpet for the 7th Annual Hospice Gala on Friday, February 26 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

“This will be different and more glitzy than any of our past galas,” says Executive Director Heather Hall. “For the first time ever, we will be honoring our First Annual Philanthropist of the Year and awarding it to Estate Treasures resale shop.”

Estate Treasures, run entirely by volunteers, has donated 1.3 million dollars to the hospice to date. “They are one of the main reasons we have our hospice center in Centreville,” says Heather.

Philanthropist of the Year will be an annual award from now on, according to Heather. “We want to recognize our donors on more of a grand scale.”

The new award inspired members of the gala’s planning committee to incorporate a “red carpet” theme for the event, which will be held at the Hunter’s Oak Heathland Manor House in Queenstown. The elegant manor house front stairs will be clad with the trademark runner so guest can ascend to the party in style. Flowers and lighting will incorporate the famed Oscar statue as well.

All of the proceeds generated from the Gala will benefit the terminally ill patients of Queen Anne’s County, according to Heather. She says donations of services from the local community minimized event expenditures.

For instance, Hunter’s Oak is donating the use of the manor house and staff for the gala. A few residents from nearby Symphony Village retirement community are donating all of the centerpiece flower arrangements and statues. The Lion’s Club of Kent Island will provide guests with valet parking and shuttle service. Photographer Stan Ruddie of ASI Photo donated portrait services and Hargrove Productions is donating the lighting and décor for the red carpet theme.

Kelly Distributors donated beer for the function. Wine and mix drinks are also included with ticket price. Additionally 13 restaurants and food vendors will set up dining stations at the gala, each providing individual specialties. Fisherman’s Inn, for instance, will serve hot crab soup and Hemmingway’s will have Cuban sandwiches. Oh My Chocolate will offer chocolate-covered strawberries and Piece of Cake bakery will serve a variety of desserts. Other restaurants include Adam’s Ribs, Annie’s Paramount Steak & Seafood House, Doc’s Riverside Grill, Harris’ Crab House, Ledo’s Pizza, R’s Americantina, Rustico Restaurant & Wine Bar, Smokehouse Grill and The Narrows.

A live auction also benefiting the Hospice will take place with donated items including a one-year’s membership to Hunter’s Oak golf course. Queen Anne’s County Waterman’s Association donated a seafood basket including a bushel of steamed crabs, Casual Caters is donating a dinner for eight to be catered at the winning bidder’s home and Kent Manor Inn & Restaurant is donating a multicourse wine dinner for eight at the Inn. Tom Helfenbein, who is also on the Hospice Board is donating auctioneer services.

“It’s amazing what sponsors will donate as well as people who donate their time,” says Heather. Hospice lead sponsors are Queenstown Bank of Maryland and Kent Island American Legion 278. Other sponsors include American Legion 296, Paula’s Fine Jewelry, Centreville National Bank, Centreville Drugs, Avon Dixon Insurance Agency, Dot Eaton, Pete and Diane Pappas, Maureen and Marion Waterman, Nick and Kathy Deoudes, and Alan and Penny Griffith.

A black-tie-optional affair, tickets for the Gala cost $150 per person. While the committee sends out invitations for the gala, the guest list is open to anyone who wishes to attend and pay the $150 cost. Interested persons need only contact the Hospice and request an invitation.

The mission of the Hospice is to serve individuals, families, and the community by providing comprehensive, professional, compassionate end-of-life care and bereavement support and education. For more information about Hospice of Queen Anne’s, visit www.hospiceofqueenannes.org. Go to the events page for more information about the Gala or request an invitation.