Ogeechee Area Hospice will host its 16th Annual Chicken Dinner Fundraiser Friday, Nov. 3 at its facility on Donehoo Street in Statesboro.
The nonprofit is the only not-for-profit hospice in the region. Tinker Lanier, facility, marketing and donor relations manager for Hospice, said tickets may be purchased at hospice or at Morris Bank on North Main St. from Trish Tootle.
“If you would like to order 10 or more dinners to be delivered to your place of business you can call me at (912) 764-8441 and place an order,” Lanier said.
The $10 dinners include half a chicken, green beans, corn-on-cob and dessert. The event was originally started by friends of Ogeechee Area Hospice Tootle and John Scott, as a way to continue providing services to families in the surrounding areas.
“Our mission is very important to us and to understand that even though hospice does mean six months or less, hospice can better serve your loved ones and your family the earlier we are called into your home,” Lanier said. “Wherever your home may be, if that is at your house, a nursing home, or an assisted living home.”
Ogeechee Area Hospice relies heavily on fundraising to take care of their patients’ needs, but other sources of funding come from private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.
“We also have funding from donations and our other fundraisers, like our annual Gala in June, where we will celebrate our 30th anniversary,” Lanier said.
Although Lanier may be in charge of the marketing and donor relations, she said she recognizes the hard work and dedication of the volunteers and staff members who pour their hearts into the event, as well.
“I could not even start to tell you how many staff members and volunteers it takes to pull off such a huge event,” she said. “It pretty much takes our whole staff in some way. Our volunteers – I don't know how Ogeechee Area Hospice would survive without them.”
The committee starts meeting in August to plan the event and this year’s event committee includes Lanier, Belinda Nelson, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Capt. Todd Hutchens, Warden Randy Tillman- from the Bulloch County Correctional Institute, Billy Yawn, Ellis Wood, J.R. Holloway and, of course, Tootle.
“You should try handing out 1,500 dinners in a drive-thru with Trish Tootle,” Laner joked. “This lady knows everyone in the county. I don't think there's one person she doesn't know and doesn't want to talk to!”
That 1,500 dinners aren’t the only ones prepared, however. The Hospice Volunteers, Community Volunteers and staff members sell tickets, label plates, and cook almost 2,800 dinners, prepare the plates and then hand out 1,500, while 1,300 are delivered to area businesses.Lanier said that community sponsors and donations also help to advance the dinner’s fundraising power. Those sponsors include local businesses and individuals like Aline Printing Co., Claxton Poultry, Ellis Meat Market, Lanier’s IGA, Honey Specialties, Uncle Shugs, and Huey and Jan Tankersley.