Saturday, July 02, 2022 |
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Anglers will take to the sea March 19 to raise funds to sustain Hospice of Kona’s programs and services.
The 16th annual Love 2 Fish tournament gets underway at 8 a.m. from Honokohau Harbor with weigh-in at 3 p.m. The fundraiser is a crucial way to raise money for the programs and services that have kept the nonprofit Hospice of Kona running amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been really tough,” said Laura Varney, CEO of Hospice of Kona. “It’s been a really rough couple of years. We’ve had to shut down because of short staff and also limit the number of patients we take in. … We’ve had to be creative and thoughtful about how we keep it going.”
During the pandemic, Hospice of Kona has had to limit the number of patients it could serve, as well as change how visitors could interact with loved ones receiving palliative and end-of-life care.
“We do visitation by windows, visitors come stand outside the window and see and talk with their loved ones,” Varney said.
The Love 2 Fish tournament is one of three annual fundraisers the Hospice of Kona Foundation puts on to support the nonprofit’s work. It’s hoped that enough funds will be raised via the daylong fishing tournament and accompanying silent auction to help the nonprofit resume “normal” operations.
“We might not get back to normal, but we can at least create a new normal,” said Adrianna DeGress, Hospice of Kona Foundation executive director.
The tournament features a four-way cash split for the largest ahi, mahi mahi, ono and marlin caught. Boats of all sizes are welcome with the harbor anticipating a mixture of tourist boats, charter boats, and private boats.
The entry fee per boat of four team members is $250 with $150 of that going directly to the foundation and $100 to the cash prize pool. The tournament’s grand prize for the special couple’s division is a pair of tickets on Alaska Airlines.
Stop by or call the Charter Desk at Honokohau Harbor at (808) 264-2495 or call the foundation at (808) 731-4629 to register.
Hospice of Kona was organized in Kona in 1985 after the Rector of Christ Episcopal Church died of cancer, and by 1987, the hospice center had begun seeing patients, their website said.
Currently, the nonprofit serves around three dozen patients with paid staff and a crew of dedicated volunteers. In addition to providing in-home hospice care, the nonprofit operates a residential home in Nakamaru Hale and provides bereavement services through the Maluihi Grief Center and Camp Erin. It also operates two thrift stores benefiting the residential care home in Holualoa.
For Varney, her hope lies in the strong will of patients and their families to get through trying times.
“My gratitude is towards our patients and our families working with us over the constant changes and how do we do this the right way and safely,” she said. ”We’re also grateful for the community that refers patients to us.”
Later this month, the foundation will hold its annual Circle of Remembrance, which has provided encouragement and hope to thousands of residents and visitors since it was first held in 2008 at the Kona Outdoor Circle.
What was created as a way for nonprofit Hospice of Kona to meet a Medicare annual memorial requirement has grown to into an opportunity for friends and family to gather to pay respect to those who have passed on — whether recently or decades ago.
This year’s event is slated 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the Bay View Grounds of the Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa. It will also be livestreamed via the Hospice of Kona Facebook page.
For more information, visit hospiceofkona.org. Monetary donations can also be made at the website or by calling (808) 324-7700.
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