Ceremony planned for hospice

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY ó Supporters will turn dirt and bless the land Monday at the site of a long-awaited 14-bed hospice facility on Statesville Boulevard, the first in Rowan County.
The public is invited to the 10:30 a.m. groundbreaking and blessing for the Rowan Regional Medical Center Hospice House, which will serve six counties, hospital spokeswoman Robin Baltimore said.
Guests can park on the grounds, turning in from Statesville Boulevard. The hospital sent more than 400 invitations, and police will direct traffic.
The event is expected to last 45 minutes and will feature several speakers.
The hospital plans to kick off a fundraising campaign at a separate event, Baltimore said.
Tony Blackwell will serve as chairman for The Dream Comes True campaign, which will help provide the capital funds to construct the Hospice House, according to Diane Dillon Hooper, director for the Rowan Regional Medical Center Foundation.
Final details of the fundraising campaign are not yet complete.
ěBut we do know there is widespread support in the community for the Rowan Hospice House,î Hooper said in an email.
Recently, the hospital foundation designated the proceeds from the annual Patrons Balls and Campbell Golf Classic for support of the project. Through the years, many people have designated memorials and other gifts to the Hospice House, Hooper said.
The foundation unofficially launched a quiet capital campaign months ago to start raising $7 million to pay for the project, said Ronnie Smith, a member of the foundation board, after Salisbury City Council approved the project in February.
Speakers at Mondayís event will include Tippie Miller, Harold Earnhardt and Libby Gish, leaders for the Hospice House Steering Committee, as well as hospital President Dari Caldwell and other Rowan Regional officials.
Refreshments will follow the program.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.