Hospice patients in Westlake receive new grand piano

Volunteer Don Stark led a campaign that resulted in a new grand piano for hospice patients.

Hospice of the Western Reserve’s volunteers were treated to a concert by the Rocky River Community Chorus at Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake recently in gratitude for the successful culmination of the “Gift of Music” campaign, which raised more than $32,000 to purchase a new grand piano, two digital pianos and additional support for the music therapy program.

The campaign was conceived and led by volunteer Don Stark of West Park, who envisioned a grand piano as the “heart” of the new hospice house, which first opened its doors to patients last summer. More than 100 volunteers from all parts of the organization donated more than $21,000 to the campaign.

“I’m so pleased that all of my fellow volunteers stepped up to make this happen,” Stark said. “It’s quite amazing to see this grow from what started as a little idea to a successful conclusion.”

The Kulas Foundation also played a definitive role in the “Gift of Music” campaign, providing a grant of $11,000 and invaluable expertise in evaluating and choosing the instruments. In 1994, the foundation provided the funds to purchase the grand piano in Hospice of the Western Reserve’s east side in-patient care facility, David Simpson Hospice House, on E. 185th Street. 

The new grand piano serves as the centerpiece of the great room, where families and friends can gather to play familiar tunes and enjoy quality time together. It is also used for special events and ceremonies, including “Meal to Remember,” which treats hospice patients and their caregivers to gourmet meals prepared by different Cleveland restaurants each month, and Veterans’ Recognition Ceremonies, which honor and thank hospice patients for their military service. The digital pianos are used for music therapy, and in the meditation room, where patients and families gather for reflection, prayer, meditation and religious ceremonies. 

Laurie Henrichsen

Media Relations & Events Coordinator

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:50 AM, 06.11.2013