by Eric Andrews-Katz -
SGN Contributing Writer
Love Without Boundaries Valentine's Day Fundraiser
Madison Renaissance Hotel
Valentine's Day is about many forms of love. Love between a couple, love between families and love between friends are just a few of the expressive ways to show and share love. On February 14, approximately 175 people gathered at the Madison Renaissance Hotel to celebrate love between themselves and a community. Rosehedge AIDS Hospice, the Madison Renaissance, and other organizations hosted the third annual "Love Without Boundaries" Valentine's Day Fundraiser.
Hosted in the hotel's second floor open bar, the evening started with free-flowing pink champagne and hors d'oeuvres. Guests were welcome to take part in a silent auction. Reprising his role as master of ceremonies, King County Executive Dow Constantine again took hold of the reins as the evening's auctioneer. Items ranged from theater tickets, dinners at various restaurants around town, custom artwork, and in-house maid service, and went on up to a baseball signed by a Seattle Mariner. At the end of the auction, a three-course dinner was served in one of the hotel's ballrooms. During dinner, another auction took place to raise money on a larger scale.
"The greatest challenge," says Rebecca Lovell, former development intern and current volunteer, "is that the cost of living is going up. So is the cost of healthcare, but the funding keeps getting cut." This fact was emphasized by almost every other speaker of the evening and expresses the reasons for private fundraising.
The costs of individual care at Rosehedge are broken down to include several resources. After assistant funds are granted from Medicaid, the Ryan White Foundation and funding from HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS), there is still an "Unfunded Care" amount of $30 per guest, per day. This is where the private fundraising comes in.
"It's not just financial aid that is needed," Rosehedge Interim Director Sharon Lucas said. "There are many household items that are in demand as well." The main items desired are bed linens and towels, pillows, and especially men's underwear in all sizes. Other items include six-packs of soda, bags of candy, and small non-perishable food items as prizes for resident household games and activities. DVD movies and gift cards (Starbucks, QFC, Safeway, etc.) are all greatly appreciated.
The Love Without Boundaries goal for the evening was to raise at least $14,000 for Rosehedge. Through generous bids, more than $47,500 was raised, not including the silent auction at the evening's start. "I think my table raised the most money," said Rosehedge director of strategic initiatives and table host, Carrie Cihak. "My table rocks!"
Established in 1988, Rosehedge AIDS Hospice provides three buildings around Seattle to house people living with HIV. Each of the buildings hosts six people and is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is now the longest-running hospice in the state. What differentiates Rosehedge from other hospices is that most of their clientele also deal with some sort of mental illness, homelessness or chemical dependency. A nurse is always on hand during the day and is on call during evening hours. The team takes great measures to make sure meals are cooked, fresh laundry is always available, and to see that each client gets the medical management they need. Sharon Lucas said, "It takes great care to make sure that the right medicine gets put into the right dosage and goes to the right person at the right time."
"We have a 99% adherence rate at Rosehedge," Lucas continued with great pride. "That's something to be proud of."
Rosehedge has three homes in the Seattle area, two in the Northgate area, and one on Capitol Hill. Since 1988, more than 500 people have lived at Rosehedge and received medical/dental care and counseling. Aside from daily care, Rosehedge assists in driving patients to and from all doctor appointments.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Rosehedge AIDS Hospice at 206-365-6806.
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