Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge volunteers donate nearly $14K

Volunteers from the Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge present Hospice of Amador and Calaveras with a check for $13,950.34.

Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge Dan Leary Golf Tournament volunteers gathered July 11 to present a check to Hospice of Amador and Calaveras.

After more than 470 hours of volunteer time invested in organizing the event and raising funds, the crowd at the lodge waited with bated breath as Ray Bertolino presented a check in the amount of $13,950.34 to Hospice board member Neil Starr and Community Relations Director Wendy Mathis.

“I truly didn’t expect this,” Starr said as he wiped away his tears. “This is unbelievable.”

“I was absolutely thrilled to see that last night,” Ariane Devien, executive director of Hospice of Amador and Calaveras, said. “It gave me goose bumps.”

Devien stated that the money donated would be used for charity care for people who cannot afford the services offered but are in need.

Additional funds may be used for the youth Grief Buster program. The program focuses on children between the ages of 5 and 19 and is mostly volunteer-based. Trained volunteers meet with the children and address their needs whether they lost a loved one in hospice or a non-hospice related event.

Last year, Hospice of Amador and Calaveras spent an estimated $50,000 on charity care. As care needs continue to rise, Devien said, “This donation is a godsend; simply amazing.”

After the presentation Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge member Wayne Renaud just couldn’t let Starr and Mathis leave without rounding up the check and donated $50 out of his own pocket so at the end of the day Hospice of Amador and Calaveras went home with $14,000.34.

“I am so amazed the amount of support we receive from such a small community,” Starr said. “I am so very thankful.”

Starr still carries his father’s wallet. His father was aided by Hospice of Amador and Calaveras in his last days, a memory of what hospice truly means.

“When you think all hope is lost, they are there for you,” Starr said.

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