During the weekend of June 16-18, Care Dimensions will hold its 23rd Annual Hospice Auction and Regatta at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead. The gala dinner and auction on Friday evening is Care Dimensions’ largest fundraiser of the year and requires extensive planning by a committee headed this year by co-chairs Jessie Morgan and John Donovan. The co-chairs recently talked about their families’ connections to hospice and their decision to volunteer for the committee.
Care Dimensions: How did you become involved with Care Dimensions?
Jessie Morgan: My sister-in-law was diagnosed with and died from pancreatic cancer at age 49. Although it was not in Massachusetts, it was the first time I became aware of the tremendously valuable services hospice provided to her and her family. Soon after her passing, my husband Peter Morgan and I starting attending and supporting the Hospice Auction and the Regatta in Marblehead. Later, my grandmother received hospice services from Care Dimensions at age 105, and my family was very grateful for the compassionate care.
John Donovan: In 2000, my father received hospice from Care Dimensions (then Hospice of the North Shore). After my father’s passing, my mother visited hospice patients for a while as a volunteer. I believe it was cathartic for her and part of the grieving and healing process.
Care Dimensions: Please describe your involvement with Care Dimensions’ fundraising.
Jessie: After attending the Hospice Auction for several years, I wanted to do more. I joined the auction committee and have found it to be very rewarding to work with such a talented, dedicated team. I am honored to serve a second year as co-chair.
John: As a philanthropy consultant, I was fortunate to provide campaign counsel to raise funds for building the Kaplan Family Hospice House. I also provided counsel for the house’s addition a few years later, and both times worked alongside many wonderful campaign volunteers and donors.
My wife Allison and I have been attending the Hospice Auction for probably 10 years in my father’s memory. A few years ago, I decided it was time to get involved in the committee. My goal in joining the committee was to introduce this wonderful organization to our friends and neighbors, many who have had a personal experience with Care Dimensions, but were less familiar with the auction and the tremendous impact the organization is having throughout the North Shore and now beyond.
Care Dimensions: Are there additional reasons you support Care Dimensions?
Jessie: As a fine artist, I am particularly interested in some of the specialized programs Care Dimensions offers to patients and their families. The Complementary Therapy programs often have a profound effect on the quality of patients’ lives. Programs and services such as art, music, and pet therapies, along with Reiki and massage make a difference and are not covered by insurance. The funds we raise at this event supports them.
John: I have been impressed at how Care Dimensions has been at the forefront of end-of-life care, palliative care, and counseling support in Massachusetts and nationally. They continue to invest in programs that put the patient and family first. Philanthropy is the catalyst to ensure these programs are available.
Care Dimensions: What do you enjoy about the Hospice Auction and Regatta?
Jessie: The Hospice Auction is an incredibly fun evening to benefit an amazing organization! The Regatta on Sunday also is a lot of fun, and my husband and I have participated in the race several times.
John: The Hospice Auction is a wonderful evening to spend time as a family and share a few of the many great stories about my father with my mom, brothers and our families. It is always an enjoyable time in lovely venues, especially watching auctioneer Paul Zekos work his magic!