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May 2004

Forest Expo Index

Charity auction benefits a worthy cause

The Prince George Hospice Society will be the primary beneficiary of the Forest Expo Charity Auction.

Hearts and wallets will be opening June 4 at the Prince George Civic Centre. The fourth Forest Expo Charity Auction, part of the chairman’s dinner and dance, has evolved into a very special event. The primary beneficiary is again the Prince George Hospice Society, receiving 90 per cent of the net proceeds from the auction. The balance is forwarded to the Canadian Women in Timber’s forestry education programs. The hospice society operates the Prince George Rotary Hospice House. It offers palliative care from professionals and volunteers to guests with life-limiting illnesses, and their families. The society’s work has clearly struck a chord within the forestry community.

About $400,000 has been raised by the three previous auctions and donated to the society. The relationship between Forest Expo and the hospice society was further strengthened this spring. The society’s bereavement centre, offering a range of grief and loss programs to help people understand and deal with their feelings, is now known as Forest Expo House - The Caring Place. Monies raised at this auction will help with the operating costs of Forest Expo House, to maintain and hopefully enhance programs available to the community. “Forest Expo is definitely a very exciting part of our history,” says Donalda Carson, the society’s executive director. And, encouraging for a society that has struggled consistently to meet operating costs since its 1995 inception, Forest Expo is committed to continue its support until 2012. “It makes us feel valued and very honoured that the people supporting the auctions have the knowledge of our services and recognize that dying is part of life. It’s very rewarding for us,” adds Carson. Kelly Hinch is Forest Expo’s charity auction chairman this year. “I volunteered to get involved because I believe it’s a very worthwhile cause,” he explains.

Mike Podger and wife Jackie were out beating the bushes for donations of quality items to support the last three charity auctions. “Jackie and Mike did a very nice job. It was their dream to make the auction work for Hospice House and it has.” Hinch works at Ritchie Bros Auctioneers in Prince George. The company donates its services to run the auctions and donates prizes. Many worthy charities compete for corporate donations each spring. And a downturn in the economy doesn’t help. But most people approached including logging contractors—have been very positive, says Hinch. That’s where the hospice society as a beneficiary helps sell the auction. “And there are lots of very generous people on the night of the auction,” he says. The crowd understands the auction is more than bargains, it’s about who and what the donations are supporting in the community, adds Hinch.

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