Rotary Hears Update on Toni and Trish House
June 16, 2015
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By: Stephen Kent
John McKelvey, directory of the Toni and Trish house, spoke to Rotary about the facility in Auburn. He began by saying that end of life is a difficult subject. When the subject does come up, some people want a quick exit and no help staying alive, others say "I'm living to 100, do everything to keep me alive."
The Toni and Trish house addresses the need of the dying. It provides a loving and caring place for a person to transition from life in an environment other than the home. The house can handle up to three people at a time and they do it entirely without cost. Guests are at the house from a few hours to a few months, but typically for a week or so.
John is the son of Trish McKelvey, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2005. Before she died, her wish was that Midland have a hospice like those in Bay City and Saginaw. So instead of cards, the family raised $15,000 for that purpose.
When they tried to give the money to a large health care organization the donation was refused. They found the Mother Theresa House in Lansing and volunteered there for nine months.
Toni Waskevich was a local hospice nurse who died in a car crash. Her family also raised about $15,000 which they wanted to use for a hospice house. Although Toni and Trish never knew each other, the families met and a synergy developed that allowed them to start the Toni and Trish house.
The organization follows an altruistic business model. They started on donations and continue to operate that way. Patients stay without charge; there is no billing and no government involvement.
The group has been successful enough that they want to export the model. Groups such as one from San Antonio have sent people here to learn how the house works. Other houses have started in Alma and Fremont, Michigan.
John talked about the fact that in years past people would die at home. Most people experienced the death of others. Today that's not the case. With families geographically separated today, most people have never been present at the transition of a loved one.
Volunteering at Toni and Trish gives a person the opportunity to experience that transition first hand. John said the house has many opportunities and trains their volunteers. Patients are required to be under medical care when they come to the house, but while there volunteers are the care givers.
John will be retiring from the house soon. His replacement is Kevin Miller who is also a practicing nurse. Kevin spoke about his experiences and why he has gone to the house full time. He also invited volunteers.
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CLUB NEWS and ANNOUNCEMENTS
attempted an opening with a greeting in the Maltese language. The Republic of Malta is a southern European Island country occupying a few islands in the Medeteraian.
Rotary came to Malta in 1967.
Additional information may be found at
The Rotary Global History fellowship
Rotary 1st 100
presented Paul Harris Fellowships
to Marybeth Laisure
and to Harvey Schneider
. The club expresses thanks and congratulations to both of these Rotarians.
Anyone wanting to make Rotary Foundation Donations
in this year should do that quickly. The Rotary year ends this month and it takes a little time to process donations.
spoke about the Golf Outing which took place last week.
It was one of the best attended that the club has had. Pictures are on the club web site at
Rotary Club of Bay City
View Centennial Year Celebrations Schedule
July 2014-June 2015
DATES TO REMEMBER
RYLA, Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp
- June 14-18
(See the official schedule at
June 23, 2015: LinkedIn for Business Professionals
Presented by Beth Bryce
June 30, 2015: McLaren Bay Medical Foundation Report
Presented by Konnie Gill
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Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.
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