What is it like to watch your wife of 30 years die? Ben McMahan experienced this heartbreak, and shared his story with more than 450 business leaders and community members at the Gift of Hope Luncheon on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, held at the Altamonte Hilton in Altamonte Springs, Fla., hosted by Hospice of the Comforter Foundation.
Ben, a resident of Winter Springs and chief operating officer of the UCF Foundation, lost his wife Regina to cancer about a year ago, choosing hospice for her end-of-life care with Hospice of the Comforter. Although Regina left behind her family, including two sons, Paul and Jeff, the support Ben received from the hospice care team eased much of their concern about her comfort and care during the final days of her battle with cancer.
The Gift of Hope luncheon is a celebration of life in Central Florida. Since 2005, this event has featured compelling stories from those whose lives have been touched by Hospice of the Comforter. Attendees get a glimpse into a person’s end-of-life journey through the eyes of a family member. This year’s event raised $138,450 in donations to help provide hospice services to terminally ill patients who might not otherwise receive this service. Through Hospice of the Comforter Foundation, Hospice of the Comforter will be able expand their mission in providing charity work to patients and families throughout Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties who are facing challenging tangible circumstances. Marilyn Hattaway, a certified fund raising executive who has managed Hospice of the Comforter’s development department for seven years, was appointed executive director of the Foundation in January 2012.
“The foundation’s work is crucial, as every day more patients and families find they need our support,” stated Hattaway. “Over 3,100 patients were cared for by Hospice of the Comforter last year, and many lacked insurance or did not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Over $500,000 in hospice services was provided by the community, through the Foundation, to patients without financial resources.”
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees who work to connect with donors and supporters, and represent the foundation in the community. The board is comprised of chair Robert J. Watson, co-founder of Hospice of the Comforter; Deborah Taylor, wealth management advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; secretary Frank Sheppard, managing partner with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell; treasurer Robert G. Wilson, founder of Hospice of the Comforter; and directors Cynthia Price, certified financial planner with Price Financial Services; Stanton Reed, professor of business and accounting at Valencia College and Mary Ann Sheriff, senior vice president with Old Florida National Bank.
Hospice of the Comforter Foundation is located at 4960 West Central Parkway, Altamonte Springs, Fla. For more information, call 407-379-0310.
About Hospice of the Comforter Foundation
The Hospice of the Comforter Foundation is committed to the current needs and future sustainability of the mission and ministry of Hospice of the Comforter. Its goal is to ensure adequate financial resources, articulate the mission, and communicate needs and accomplishments to engage philanthropic support from the community.
About Hospice of the Comforter
Hospice of the Comforter is the only nonprofit hospice serving patients and their families living with an incurable illness in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. Hospice of the Comforter has served more than 20,000 families in Central Florida with physical, emotional and spiritual support.