$1 million grant for Yadkin hospice home

SECU Foundation Executive Director Jama Dagenhart, left, and McKinley Wooten Jr., SECU Foundation Board chair, right, present a $1 million check to Mountain Valley Hospice Executive Director Denise Watson for the creation of a hospice home in Yadkin County.

Mountain Valley Hospice Executive Director Denise Watson announces the purchase of land in Yadkinville for a hospice home.

SECU Foundation Executive Director Jama Dagenhart, left, and McKinley Wooten Jr., SECU Foundation Board chair, announce a $1 million challenge grant for the construction of the SECU Hospice Home of Yadkin.

Despite the blazing heat last Wednesday, a crowd gathered outside the State Employees Credit Union in Yadkinville for a big announcement from Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care. Denise Watson, executive director of Mountain Valley Hospice, thanked visitors for coming out to brave the 95-degree weather to show their support.

“We’re here today to publicly announce that Mountain Valley Hospice has purchased the land adjacent to the credit union, and we will build Yadkin County’s first and only hospice home on this site,” she said. The announcement was greeted with much applause.

Not only has land already been purchased for the site, but organizers are nearly halfway to their fundraising goal thanks to some large financial pledges. A six-acre site next to the SECU branch on 233 N. Lee Ave. in Yadkinville has been purchased for the project.

Roger Cook, vice president of the SECU’s Yadkin branch, took to the podium to announce a generous donation for the project on behalf of the credit union’s charitable foundation.

“I’m delighted to be here today for SECU’s Foundation presentation of a $1 million challenge grant for SECU Hospice Home,” Cook said, to much applause and cheers from the audience.

SECU Foundation Board Chair McKinley Wooten Jr. also addressed the crowd saying, “We are pleased to be able to partner with Mountain Valley Hospice to support the construction of this great facility.”

Wooten spoke to some of history of the SECU Foundation, which was established 11 years ago to support communities across the state in the areas of education, housing, healthcare and human services.

“There just aren’t enough words to properly express my thanks to the members of SECU for their generous grant, which will help us build a hospice home that will serve patients and their families in Yadkin County and throughout the region,” said Watson, in a press release issued following the event. “The SECU Foundation has been a long-time supporter of our mission, and their challenge grant will not only boost our capital campaign, but I’m sure will inspire others to contribute as well. We are extremely grateful for the gift and the continued support.”

Watson said last year 42 of the 171 patients served by hospice in the area would have qualified to stay in a hospice home in Yadkin County had that been available at the time. She said the group’s first step in 2012 was to determine if there was a need for such a facility in the county and there was.

“Without a local hospice home some of these patients must travel to Dobson or to Winston-Salem and sometimes they travel as much as an hour away, which can be challenging going every day to see a loved one,” she said.

The total cost of the project is $3.5 million and with the SECU matching grant and other financial pledges, organizers already have $1.4 million towards the project. The fundraising committee, chaired by Jerry Carlton and Wayne and Tina Macemore, is reaching out to larger donors, corporations and other foundations to continue sponsoring the project and additional community-wide fundraising events will be scheduled in the coming year.

For more information on services provided by Mountain Valley Hospice or more information about the capital campaign to build the Yadkin hospice home, call 336-679-2466.

Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.

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