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April 5, 2019


Longtime Volunteer Witnesses the Value of End-of-Life Services

April 5, 2019


Longtime Volunteer Witnesses the Value of End-of-Life Services

APPLETON, Wis. — Six years ago, longtime hospice volunteer Christine Cornell and a group of other ThedaCare volunteers saw a need to help raise funds to enhance the end-of-life journey for the people they served.

“Every once in a while, we would hear someone say, ‘I wish we could do this for a patient,’ such as fly a daughter or son in from another state,” Cornell said. “We could sometimes dig up some funds and then we put our heads together to develop something better.”

The result was the Hopes and Dreams program, where funds are used for special requests such as a plane ticket for a family member, celebration of a milestone like a birthday or anniversary or other special requests like concerts or gifts with recorded messages from the patient.

Cornell and the other volunteers started the 100 Women for Hospice event through the stewardship and support of the ThedaCare Family of Foundations. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the event, now in its sixth year, is able to fund the Hopes and Dreams program as well as support comfort care programs, including massage therapy, pet therapy and more.

“Having a loved one enter end-of-life care can be an emotional and stressful time for any family, and the Hopes and Dreams program offers a way to both alleviate some of that stress and create an exceptional experience for families and their loved ones,” said Cornell.

The volunteers hear touching requests often. One year, a patient at Cherry Meadows requested a trip to her favorite concert festival, Lifest in Oshkosh. Through Hopes and Dreams, Cornell and other volunteers were able to secure tickets for the patient and her family and the necessary medical transport. Cornell, who was a nurse for the Appleton School District for 36 years, accompanied the patient for support.

“We had a blast,” Cornell recalled. “It was so much fun, and so meaningful for her and her family.”

Another request came when a daughter wanted to move up her wedding date for her mother who was in hospice. The request came on a Friday afternoon with plans for the wedding the following day. Cornell helped find flowers and a cake, and the wedding took place as planned.

“We learned later that the mom had died about two hours later,” Cornell said. “To be able to help make that wedding happen was a wonderful gift.”

On April 29, the ThedaCare Family of Foundations is hosting the annual 100 Women for Hospice event to raise funds to support Hopes and Dreams, as well as other hospice program initiatives for ThedaCare. 

“Some of the women in attendance have had a hospice experience or have heard our team talk about it,” Cornell said. “For many of our donors who come to our program, it’s a real eye opener to know that they can make such a difference in the end of life journey for a patient and a family.”

Attendees are asked to support monetarily at the event. Attendees do not need to purchase tickets, but submitting an RSVP is requested. Here is more information:

100 Women for Hospice

Monday, April 29, 2019

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

The Grand Meridian in Appleton

Light appetizers and beverages will be served

Please RSVP to Holly Rutter at or 920.738.6478 by Monday, April 22.

To learn more about the ThedaCare Family of Foundations and the impact of donor support, or make a donation, please visit or email 

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.