History repeats itself!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019
There’s less than one week left to buy raffle tickets to be in with a chance of winning a brand new Fiat 500 as part of our 30th anniversary! Did you know the Hospice also raffled a Fiat Panda in 1987 as part of the fundraising activities prior to the Hospice opening? 

In 1981, Normanton Rotary were seeking a speaker for their meeting. Rotary member, Roy Masters, asked Gordon Tollefson (Chairman of the Board of Trustees) to speak about the importance of patients in the NHS. Before Gordon spoke, they were presenting a cheque to a lady from St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds. It was then at the meeting that the thought came as to why we haven’t got a Hospice here in Pontefract.

After the meeting, Roy and Gordon discussed the possibility of a local Hospice and engaged other people with the skills they needed to form a steering group for “The Five Towns Plus Hospice Fund Ltd.” Those people were; David Ashton (local solicitor), John Hanson (accountant), Mary Berwick (Head of Nursing Services) and Graham Townend (Yorkshire Evening Post journalist). Dr Baz became the first medical director (though only in the planning stages).

Support groups were set up, including those started by Min Brusby and Shirley Cousins, with Gretta Sharkey becoming co-ordinator of the groups in 1982/83.

In 1987 Piccadilly Motors in Wakefield donated a Fiat Panda to help fundraise for the Hospice. Mary Berwick (Hospice Fundraiser) and Bob Abson (Hospice Trustee) were handed the keys, and from then, fundraisers including Janet Abson, used to drive the car from A to B selling raffle tickets to raise money.   

32 years later, the Hospice is selling raffle tickets to win a brand new Fiat 500 thanks to Haribo and Motorpoint. What an incredible story to hear as we enter our 30th year, knowing our fundraisers did the exact same to raise funds for the Hospice all that time ago.

The winner of this fabulous little car will be drawn on Wednesday 18th September. Join us live on Facebook from 11am. What are you waiting for? Get your tickets now before it’s too late!

Tickets are available from reception and any of our Hospice shops. Good luck.     
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