By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
The expense of local patient care is set to get an assist following proceeds from the 12th annual Home Hospice of Cooke County golf tournament.
A shotgun start is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at Turtle Hill Golf Course in rural Muenster. Registration is currently available beginning with a nominal $75 fee that includes fees, prizes, equipment and dinner.
Higher sponsorships begin at $100 and extend to $1,000. Executive Director Sherry Little explained Friday that the 2012 tournament garnered just under $12,000, and the goal for this year is an even $15,000.
“That’s a very lofty goal,” she said. “But all the money raised from the tournament stays in Cooke County to take care of those patients who are dying, and to those families who need resources and find themselves without insurance and without the resources for natural care.”
During 2012, Little explained, the all-inclusive cost for hospice patient care in Cooke County was $172 per person, per day. Hospice care includes equipment, medications and emotional support both for clients and their families, and in 2011, more than $285,000 was spent.
“At any given time, we could be taking care of 15 to 20 people,” Little said. “And some of them are going to have insurance or Medicare that helps defray that expense. But some of them find themselves dying without that benefit.”
A more rare local problem is the necessity of hospice care among younger patients. Little said she has had experience overseeing the care of people who became badly ill during their forties and fifties.
“They had a job and they had insurance — and then they become ill and they lose their job and insurance,” she said. “And now they’re dying without those benefits, and there are a lot of reasons why those things can happen.”
Fortunately for the local agency, participation in hospice fundraisers is regularly healthy.
Little said the upcoming golf tournament follows the annual holiday-themed “Light Up a Life” campaign, which began locally in 1988, and brought more than $23,000 for hospice patients during 2012.
Golf games have a more selective turnout, she admitted, but the tournament usually operates at full capacity.
“Part of that is that Turtle Hill is a very attractive course for a lot of golfers,” she said. “And a lot of people play and participate in this tournament because they want to support home hospice.”
For more information about the April 21 tournament, call (940) 668-8295