Pine Tree Hospice volunteers help create and preserve memories

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SANGERVILLE — For over three decades area individuals and families have been served free of charge by Pine Tree Hospice during the time of dying and bereavement. The organization’s volunteers work to create and preserve memories for all involved, as stated on the cover of the 2016 report, and those contributing to Pine Tree Hospice were honored during the annual meeting Nov. 17 at the East Sangerville Grange.

“Each year we go through our service awards, people who have hit certain milestones,” Pine Tree Hospice Coordinator of Volunteers and Client Services Lisa Joy White said. Service awards recognizing five and 10 years respectively were then presented to Judy Doore and Helen Higgins, and a 30-year honor was given to Dr. Lesley Fernow.

“I am so excited when I come here and see what is happening with Pine Tree Hospice,” Dr. Fernow said. “It is thriving and an indispensable part of our community.”

She said she never could have imagined that the organization would grow into what it is today. “It was my life dream and volunteers thank you for keeping my dream going,” Dr. Fernow said.

“I want to say congratulations to all our volunteers, the 69 or 70 that we have,” White said. “I did pick out a member of each group to recognize tonight.”

White then presented four special recognition honors, with Ardis Hacker given recognition as a bereavement facilitator, Rita Mountain receiving an award as a direct care volunteer, Dolores Curtis chosen for her indirect care work and Rhonda Taylor earning special recognition for her role on the Pine Tree Hospice board of directors.

Pine Tree Hospice Executive Director Jane Stitham said she could go person by person among those gathered at the Grange and “recognize what each of you do.” She continued, “Pine Tree Hospice is extremely lucky to be in its 31st year.”

“Pine Tree Hospice is a volunteer hospice, as a volunteer hospice we cannot charge for our services and we receive no funding,” Stitham said. She said when she began working for the organization a half dozen years prior about 100 volunteer hospices operated around the country.

“As of last January, in just six short years, that number is down to 49,” Stitham said. “It is really important we continue to work together for the people in our community who receive our services.”

The executive director said volunteers contributed 4,045 hours in the 2016 fiscal year. “The piece that’s most poignant to me is at the bottom,” Stitham said about the page of the statistics in the annual report.

She said in 2011-12 Pine Tree Hospice volunteers served 55 clients and this total has grown each year since to 146 in 2015-16 or a 265 percent increase in five years. Stitham said those giving of their time are helping not just the client but family members as well.

“The last few years we have chosen to recognize a business in the area,” Stitham said. “We could not do what we do without the support of these businesses and entities.”

She said the 2016 honored business is the Charlotte White Center. Stitham said this organization enables its Chief Financial Officer Dale Shaw to serve Pine Tree Hospice, and the Charlotte White Center also enables Pine Tree Hospice to use its facilities for events.

Stitham said Pine Tree Hospice has been the recipient of benefits from the Charlotte White Center Thriving in Place (TIP) initiative. She said TIP Project Director Meg Callaway has gotten about 50 different programs together, including Pine Tree Hospice, to help the aging population be able to stay in their homes.

“Meg has done such a tremendous job in getting our name and the word out there,” Stitham said, saying Callaway has also assisted with a pair of grants for Pine Tree Hospice.

“Pine Tree Hospice can’t do a lot for a business the size of the Charlotte White Center,” Stitham said, but the hospice staff did present Shaw with a tote full of household items to be used across the Charlotte White Center facilities.

For more information on Pine Tree Hospice and its numerous services and many volunteer possibilities, please contact 564-4346 or or go to or




Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

THANK FROM PINE TREE HOSPICE —  The Charlotte White Center was recognized by Pine Tree Hospice during the hospice’s annual meeting on Nov. 17 at the East Sangerville Grange. Charlotte White Center CFO Dale Shaw holds a tote of household items given as a thank you to the Charlotte White Center by Pine Tree Hospice Coordinator of Volunteers and Client Services Lisa Joy White, right. Also pictured is Pine Tree Hospice Executive Director Jane Stitham, second from left, and Charlotte White Center Thriving in Place Project Director Meg Callaway, second from right.

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