Rotary supports Star Hospice House

Submitted photo Front row: Andrew Dickson, VP Community Engagement at CHCP; Ellen Luczkowiak, Rotary member and CHPC board member; Jefferson Westwood, Rotary member; Diane Hannum, Executive Director of Northern Chautauqua County Foundation and President-Elect of the club; Michele Starwalt-Woods, Rotary member and District 7090 Assistant Governor; Jennifer Vahl, Rotary member; Irene Strychalski, Rotary member; and Alison Dengler, wife of Rotary President David Degler.

The Dunkirk-Fredonia Rotary Club challenged its members to support the Star Hospice House and they came through to the tune of $10,925.

From its treasury, the club matched the first $2,500 in contributions from its current and former members, quickly surpassing it original goal.

“We are so grateful to the club and members who contributed to the Our House campaign,” said Shauna Anderson, president and CEO of Chautauqua Hospice & Palliative Care. “We are so humbled by the depth and breadth of community support for the residence. The success of the Rotary challenge speaks volumes about the need in our community for the Star Hospice House.”

Jefferson Westwood, treasurer of Dunkirk-Fredonia Rotary, spearheaded the club’s challenge campaign. It was his idea to use funds from the club treasury to challenge Rotarians to make their own gifts. He was moved to support the residence because of the outstanding care his father-in-law received at a hospice residence in Michigan.

“My father-in-law died in 2008 and he and our family were blessed that he was able to spend his final days in a hospice house in my wife’s hometown of Jackson,” Westwood said. “It was such a better place for us to gather and be with him, than his home or the local hospital would have been.”

“I’m so glad that Chautauqua County will now have a similar facility,” Westwood continued. “And the generosity of our current and former Rotarians shows how wide-spread this sentiment is.”

Thirty-two past and present local Rotarians stepped forward to accept the challenge. Gifts from individual Rotarians ranged from $50 to over $2,000. Club funds came from the accumulated proceeds of past club fundraises including the club’s annual Fly-In Pancake Breakfast and the annual wine raffle.

The mission of Chautauqua Hospice & Palliative Care is to provide comprehensive palliative/end-of-life care and education. Chautauqua Hospice & Palliative Care provides hospice care for patients and families facing life-limiting terminal illness, palliative care for those with serious chronic illness, and bereavement support to individuals, families and organizations who have suffered the loss of a loved one. For more information, visit or call 338-0033.

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