Iowa River Hospice holds fundraiser at Market

The Iowa River Hospice was the beneficiary of Rib Day at Cartwright’s Farmers Market on Saturday.

Iowa River Hospice is celebrating its 12th anniversary this summer. Rhonda Miller, community liaison at Iowa River Hospice said the event, of which JBS helped organize, was put together as a fun way for them to get out and interact with the public.

“We wanted to thank the public that has been so good to us and supporting us in so many ways,” she said. “We’ve been here since 1983, and we’re local, we’re a standalone hospice agency. So we’re proud of our past and we’re very honored to be part of this wonderful community.”

Miller said the fundraiser is a wonderful benefit to the Marshalltown community and for people to see JBS in a different light, and see how hard they work. She also said it was important for hospice to see former patients, their family members, and clinical staff interacting amongst each other in a more lighthearted way.

Miller said financial support and fundraising is important to help them be able to do what they do to help people and serve their patients and their families with a full complement of care.

“Well, of course, fundraising is important to us, as with all health care agencies, the demands are very high, and the expenses are very high,” she said, “But it’s also a great way to get out and meet and greet and speak with people one-on-one and be a part of the community.

Executive Director of Marshalltown Central Business District (MCBD), Deb Millizer said Hospice helped her dad, who was diagnosed with leukemia in March 2020.

“My dad needed blood transfusions to support his organs. Normally once hospice services start those transfusions cease,” she said. “Hospice advocated for my dad to get one remaining transfusion so I could take my father to visit his brother one last time. That meant the world to my dad, and he was so grateful. One week later, my father passed away in his home.”

Hospice services were extremely important and invaluable, Millizer said, as the nurses showed her how to care for her dad and make sure he was comfortable, while giving her someone to call who understood her family’s emotions.

“My education background is in psychology and social work, but until one is personally experiencing the expected loss or the loss of a parent, a person cannot truly understand the depth of the emotions that come with grief,” she said, “Selfishly, I didn’t want to lose my dad, but because of the love I have for him I didn’t want him to suffer.

Millizer said she got teary-eyed thinking about that bittersweet moment holding her dad’s hand as he passed.

“My dad was there for me when I took my first breath, and I was there for him as he took his last one. I feel as if hospice helped me because they educated me on what to expect,” Millizer said.

Market Manager, Trisha Wilder said she felt the Iowa River Hospice was fundraising for a good cause, and wanted to host them at the Farmers Market.

“They reached out to us and we’re happy for it. It’s a good cause for the hospice, all the proceeds for this go to them, and the hospice is free for anybody that signs up,” she said. “So anything that’s good for the community we’ll host.”

Miller said the Farmers Market was the perfect location for their fundraiser.

“Where the market is, it’s always a fun place to be, and a great draw. People come in on Saturday mornings to see what these wonderful vendors are making and it’s just a fun place to be,” Miller said.

Contact Marquetta Evans at 641-753-6611 or mevans@timesrepublican.com.


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