Hospice Dufferin to celebrate 30 years of service Saturday

September 28, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Hospice Dufferin will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this weekend, recognizing everyone involved and everything the organization has done to provide palliative care for those in the County.

The event, ‘A Bucket List Bash’ will take place this Saturday, Sept. 8, at the In-Memoriam Life Centre, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Among other things, there will be live music, various cultural foods, raffles, and live art, all the while celebrating everything the hospice has done, and to remember those who have come through the organization.

“It’s really exciting,” says Hospice Dufferin’s Executive Director Maureen Riedler, who has been with the hospice for 17 years now. “We’ve had lots of challenges, and we’ve had lots of successes.”

Speaking to the Citizen this past Tuesday, Ms. Riedler looked back not just on her time with the hospice, but throughout its entire 30 years. “It’s really a time of reflection.”

When the organization first started back in 1988, it was in an eight-by-ten room at Headwaters hospital, and served 20 clients a year through volunteer visits. Now, they serve roughly 450 clients a year, and also have several programs including yoga and art therapy, breathing counselling, meditation, and is located at 30 Centre Street, in the Edelbrock Centre.

“We’ve certainly grown as an organization,” says Ms. Riedler. “There’s so much more to our programs now.”

Palliative care is caring for patients and families facing a life-limiting illness, starting at diagnosis, to end-of-life, and after with bereavement for the families dealing with the loss. Trained volunteers, who work with patients and their families, provide support services on a one-to-one basis.

“The world has changed, and of course Dufferin continues to change,” commented Ms. Riedler, saying they are looking to continue meeting the needs of an ever more diverse community.

The biggest challenge the hospice faces yearly is fundraising 75 per cent of its annual operating budget – over $100,000. However, with long time events like Hike for Hospice and the Healing Cycle Ride, along with newer ones such as Hope Through Harmonies, organized by local singer-songwriter Sara Rose, a former placement student and now volunteer, the hospice is able to continue providing care for those in need.

“Fundraising is always a big piece of what we have to do,” commented Ms. Riedler “We’re excited to continue doing that.”

She adds that she is most proud of the staff and volunteers for all the work they have done, with some volunteers helping since the beginning. “We have so much laughter here, and people don’t expect that.”

Asked on what she enjoys the most, Ms. Riedler says it is the people. “It’s about people, and meeting people, and helping, and I think self-discovery.”

She explained that the clients they serve teach the volunteers and staff on how to live themselves, and how to deal with death in their own personal lives. “Hearing life stories, and accomplishments of others, it’s just an mazing job to be in.”

To purchase a ticket and help celebrate 30 years, visit, or call 519-942-3313 ext. 1.

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