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Walking the Journey together – who are you hiking for?

April 9, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek


Matthews House Hospice will host its annual Hike for Hospice on Sunday, May 6th.

This is the organization’s second biggest fundraiser of the year, and it takes place at the Adjala–Tosorontio Municipal Centre, on the track.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. with warm up activities, a barbecue lunch and entertainment with the Hike starting at noon.

Hike for Hospice welcomes teams and individuals to register, and is issuing a challenge this year to be the team or individual that raises the most.

“We are looking for teams to really get involved, dress in themes and include as many family and friends as possible,” said Margo Cooney, President of the Matthews House Hospice board.

Sponsors stepped up to date are RBC, Enbridge, Alliston Lions Club, Gary Teeter excavating, Cathy and Allan Morden.

Matthews House Hospice is nearing the completion of its Centre of Excellence for end of life and palliative care patients, to assist the families of South Simcoe and allowing residents to die with dignity.

“We are actively looking to engage interest, support and donations for our new facility,” said Cooney. “As a palliative care hub, the new facility will combine both community and residential care, support groups for residents and families including education regarding end of life and palliative care.”

For more information or to register visit or call Andrea Roylance, Manager, Gifts and Gratitude at 704 440-6755  or reach her by email at


Letter by Frank Taylor, Matthews House Hospice Secretary:


Dear Family and Friends:

Your support for me and for the work of Matthews House Hospice has meant a lot to me. Thanks.

There is so much I could share with you after another momentous year at Matthews House. I will try to hit only the highlights.

Our new building in Alliston is nearing completion. We expect to move in sometime late this spring. To see it materialize off the blueprints is truly amazing. The overwhelming realization when walking through it is just how much more we can do. Can I illustrate with a recent story?

Sally (Frank’s wife) was asked to come to the residence on a recent Sunday to accept a cheque that a grateful family wished to present to her. Sally had volunteered on a few occasions so that the caregiver could run some errands and have a little time for herself.

When the family opted for the residence for end of life care, they were very pleased with the supports available to them and wanted to show their appreciation. There were at least 15 family members present and we were told eight of them had slept over the night before so their family member would never be alone at the end.

We were a little overwhelmed and later reflected about how much more we could have done had this happened in our new building. In addition to all they accessed at our current residence, the resident room would have been bigger with an option for two family to sleep in comfort beside the patient bed.

Family would have direct access to their own patio and a beautiful and tranquil new garden. Others could have been accommodated in two spacious rooms we have set aside downstairs for family respite. There would be two “great rooms” and a “quiet room” available to them as well as dining space for all of them close by. Perhaps most important, there would have been a variety of professional and volunteer supports just upstairs during working hours, counselling, support groups, wellness and diversionary activities.

Please stay tuned for more about these new and exciting opportunities.

Because of a grant from a local supporter, Baxter Corporation, we have been able to jump start a palliative home support program designed to help end of life patients stay at home as long as possible or to die at home with assistance if that is their wish. We work with CCAC to provide this service. 84 patients and their families are enrolled. 47 have died, 38% at home, 51% in our residence and only 6% in hospital. We are very satisfied with this start to a program that ordinarily would have had to wait until we opened our new building.

More than 100 families have opted for end of life care in our residence to the end of January. In total, we are caring for 745 clients in all programs and our volunteers have logged well over 20,000 hours this year to date. 

The Ontario Government and the Central Local Health Integration Network are now junior partners with us in providing our programs and services. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care will provide funding for nursing care for all 10 beds once we are open and will support our using them for non-palliative care, for example for short term pain and symptom management and respite for caregivers. They also promised to provide capital funding, but the fine print will exclude us from a significant part of this. I hasten to add that the problem here is with the bureaucrats not the politicians. 

Our need to fundraise remains a huge undertaking, but our community has been very supportive. For 2017–2018, Matthews House Hospice will need to raise $1,500,000 in addition to the government’s commitment.

Please see our website or our Facebook page for complete coverage of who we are and what we do. There is lots going on. 


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