The San Luis Valley Health Conejos County Hospital (CCH) Foundation BBQ and Quilt Auction, was held on a sunny Saturday, June 25, 2016. Michelle Gay, CCH Foundation Director, said of the event, "It was a beautiful day; we had great food, great auction items and more importantly, a great community turnout. Hospital staff, family, community members and others came out to support the event and we are excited to announce that we exceeded our goal of $10,000 raising funds which reached over $11,676.” One-hundred percent of funds raised during the Saturday event will go towards supporting an upcoming CCH remodeling project to benefit inpatient hospice care at CCH.

Before the event, Michelle explained the idea behind the upcoming fundraiser. "The CCH BBQ and Quilt Auction started in roughly 1964 by the Conejos County Ladies Auxiliary to help raise funds to support Conejos County Hospital. The first event was held in Conejos Canyon, which they soon outgrew the location and moved into town. The ladies auxiliary held their last BBQ & Quilt Auction in July, 2013. When I heard about the need to update the rooms to provide inpatient hospice and respite care to our community, I brought the idea to the foundation board and received an enthusiastic response."

When asked about where the idea of bringing the quilt auction back to CCH originated, Helen Lester, Executive Director for Hospice del Valle, laughed and replied, "Where most of conversations in the Valley begin...in the grocery store aisle. I visited with Kelly Gallegos at length and then continued over the next few months. We both felt it was a need. After touring the facility at CCH in La Jara, we agreed that this would be the perfect venue." An inpatient hospice unit is for those patients with symptoms that cannot be controlled in the home setting. Having a separate unit from an acute care hospital floor or unit allows for a more "homey atmosphere" which allows for greater personalization with family, friends and caregiver participation. An example would be a patient whose disease progresses to the point that the patient can no longer get pain and symptom relief with oral or topical medications and requires intravenous or even sedation for relief.

"To my knowledge this is the first collaboration between CCH and Hospice del Valle," remarked Lester. Kelly Gallegos, Administrator for Conejos County Hospital, added, "We are honored to partner with the Hospice del Valle team and feel privileged to care for patients and their families during this time of need.“

Michelle thanks the many volunteers who helped out with this event including SLV Health employees, their family members and community members. The CCH Foundation plans to make the successful BBQ and Quilt Auction an annual event.  

The Conejos County Hospital Foundation would like to send a very special thank you to the community, local businesses, supporters, and benefactors that came together to make our first BBQ & Quilt Auction a success. We would like to thank Fox Creek, Manassa 1st ward, Manassa 2nd ward, Manassa 3rd ward, Nancy Thomas, Sanford 1st ward, Sanford 2nd ward, La Jara 2nd ward, Karen Christensen, Denise Stong, Michelle Gay, Suzanne Pena, Betty Scott, and Ella Gingrich for their beautiful work on the auction quilts. We also want to thank all the donors that donated auction items and the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (CPAC), Valley Meat, and A&L Coors for donating the food and water for the event. Special thanks to Kathy’s Fabric Trunk in Del Norte for making the Hospice Quilts that can be purchased and donated back to one of our hospital patients.  Finally we want to recognize all the volunteers for all their hard work and making our vision a reality.   

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