By Mike Williscraft
From a chance conversation years ago at Jazz On The Ridge, to a $1 million donation to kick start a major expansion campaign, things have come full circle for Blair and Kathy McKeil and McNally House Hospice.
“Blair asked me what my dreams were for McNally and I told him the services we provide are very good and needed, but there was much more to be done,” said Pam Blackwood, McNally House executive director.
The “day hospice” program and this growth project will add four beds as well as allow support for those in our community who have been diagnosed but are not near the last three months of their lives.”
To achieve those goals, there is the $9.5 million Life In Every Moment fundraising campaign in front of McNally supporters, a campaign chaired by the facility’s board president Murray Bain and former Niagara Regional Chair and Grimsby native Debbie Zimmerman.
“We’ve always been very supportive of McNally House going back to the start with Dr. Denise Marshall, Pat and Nancy McNally, who are dear friends of ours. I asked Pam where she wanted to go. With the population growing, they need more beds but they also pivoted to create something far greater than we imagined,” said Blair of the new day hospice services.
Kathy noted services will support McNally residents but also allow those in need to be home longer with external support before they need residential care.
“Something as simple as someone getting their hair done, that’s a big thing because they miss it. They can’t go out due to a compromised immune system from treatments or illness. We will be able to help with that,” said Blackwood.
The campaign is in the “quiet” phase with details on the public phasing coming in “the coming months”.