MOUNT GILEAD — It was a big blow to Hospice of Morrow County to have to cancel its 26th annual Hearts for Hospice dinner and auction that was scheduled for May this spring.
“This year we obviously have to do things differently,” said Hospice of Morrow County Executive Director, Julie Blankenship referring to the limit on large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hospice Board president Donna Dorsten said they considered postponing the dinner and auction until late summer or fall. However, there was still uncertainty about holding large events and uncertainty about the school schedule where they hold the event.
“Someone suggested a virtual auction and after some research we found auctioneer, Collin Howard, who had experience with helping to raise funds online,” Dorsten said. “He is donating his fee and the use of his platform to help us.”
• The auction will be held online virtually – beginning Friday July 24 and running through Sunday, Aug. 2.
Blankenship explains that it’s like an eBay or other online auction where all proceeds will directly support hospice care to the terminally ill.
There are several ways businesses and individuals can support Hospice of Morrow County with the virtual Hearts for Hospice event:
• Donate an item for the auction. Some popular items include sporting or event tickets, trips, themed baskets, gift certificates from your business and quality handmade items.
• Become a sponsor of the event. There are three sponsor levels: $100 Care Sponsors, $500 Comfort Sponsors and $1,000 Heart Sponsors. All sponsors will be featured on the auction site, in event advertising and on social media and website posts. You can also sponsor as an individual, business or in memory of someone as well as anonymously,
• Bid during the auction. Emails with bidding instructions and information will follow and can be emailed to those requesting information.
• Like and Share the event auction posts. Hearts for Hospice event co-chairmen are Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Perkins and Donna Lee. They hope that people will share the auction information on their social media posts with friends, family and neighbors to reach even more potential donors.
All donations and auction purchases are tax-deductible in the extent allowed by law. Hospice of Morrow County, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization,
• By July 2, all donations of items for the auction and monetary donations need to be received. That is so they can post photographs of items for the event and publicly acknowledge donations and sponsorships.
Blankenship said they already are getting some nice donations for the auction. There are Columbus Zoo tickets, a hotel night package, fire ring, hand-made quilts and more.
Dorsten spoke about the importance of Hospice of Morrow County that gives hope and comprehensive comforting care to persons and their families toward the end of life with a compassionate team.
“Hospice depends on Hearts for Hospice for what insurance and Medicare doesn’t cover,” Dorsten said. “We turn no one away. The money we raise is an important part of our funding.”
Questions about the event can be directed to event co-chair Liz Perkins or Julie Blankenship at 419-946-9822.