Why I Give – Hospice of St. Mary’s Festival of Trees

The community shares why they give back to the hospital through Hospice of St. Mary's.

December 1, 2015

Beyond Business 

Paul Ausley wants to ensure that Hospice will always be around for all who need it. The president of Ausley Associates, Inc., is dedicated to providing support to the local community, and serving as the main sponsor of the annual Hospice of St. Mary's Festival of Trees is one way to do so. “This event helps build a sense of community,” said Paul. Having grown up in a military family, he understands the need to establish roots and make connections. “Hospice touches everyone,” he said, “and this holiday event helps to build awareness of Hospice across the county, encourages family participation and raises money for all the services Hospice provides.”

Why I GiveAusley’s corporate communications specialist, Michelle Connolly, says that one of the reasons she was attracted to the company was because of its commitment to local charitable organizations, especially Hospice. She’s experienced first-hand how Hospice helps patients and family members cope during a critical time and loves helping with the festival. “Being the main sponsor since 2010 means more than just making a donation. We help to defray costs and raise money that would otherwise be required of families in their time of need. Sponsorships from companies like Ausley allow patients to continue to receive care when personal funds run dry. The best part is that all the funds raised go directly to caring for this community.”

“As the defense industry continues to face declining budgets, many local charitable organizations are suffering,” said Paul. “It is more important than ever to support Hospice over the long run. It’s good for the community, for families and, ultimately, for your employees. Hospice helps everyone cope during a most difficult time.”

Family Affair

Why I GiveJean Loffler continues to be grateful for all Hospice did for her family during her late husband Buddy’s terminal illness. The Leonardtown High School teacher wants others to receive the same care when they go through a similar journey. As a result, she and her daughters sponsor a tree for the Hospice Festival of Trees.

“The first year my father passed away we chose to put together all the money my sister, Laura, mom and I would typically spend on Christmas gifts for our dad in order to be able to give to this event,” said Jean’s daughter, Lynn Baumann of Hollywood, Maryland. “We started with a tree and then added a wreath. “It’s what our dad would have wanted. He was a very giving person.”

“Giving to Hospice and the Festival of Trees feels like I’m getting a present,” said Lynn. “We all love that after the event the tree will be donated to a family or an organization with a real need or it can be auctioned off to bring in more support for all that Hospice does. It is so important for us to help Hospice give to others.”

That sentiment is echoed by Jean’s granddaughter, Claire, who said it keeps her grandpa’s memory alive. “We want to help care for others the way they did for Pop Pop.”

This article originally appeared in MedStar St. Mary's Hospital's winter edition of their quarterly community magazine, Healthy Living. Check out our publications page to read on, or visit the Hospice of St. Mary's website for more information about their services. 

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