What Do Winmar and a Seventh Grader Have in Common?

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Winmar presents a $10,250 donation to ARCH Hospice. (left to right: Lee Rendell – ARCH Hospice, Dino Biasucci – Winmar, Krista Brown – Winmar, Adam Pinder – Construction Association, Theresa Mudge – ARCH Hospice)

Both donate to ARCH Hospice. They show that every dollar matters, and anyone of any age can support Hospice Expansion.

Winmar presented ARCH Hospice with a cheque totalling $10,250 they raised this summer at their annual golf tournament. Dino Biasucci, Owner of Winmar, explained why they wanted to support the ARCH Hospice Expansion: “ARCH supports this community at every opportunity, it’s important that we support them in return. It’s our way of giving back to the community, of providing local families with comfort and care.”

Winmar’s donation goes towards the Why it Matters campaign, which aims to raise the $3 million needed to expand ARCH Hospice’s facilities and programs. Programs like ARCH Hospice’s Paediatric Palliative Program, which provides hospice care to children and their families facing the end-of-life.

 Eleven year old Lee Pressel brought in his $91 in birthday money to donate to ARCH Hospice in 2015.
Eleven year old Lee Pressel brought in his $91 in birthday money to donate to ARCH Hospice in 2015.

Adam Pinder, Manager of the Construction Association adds, “What’s special about ARCH is that it brings people together. The Construction Association is working with our membership on Project Dragonfly: getting hundreds of businesses and people to band together in support of the ARCH Hospice Expansion. It’s powerful to see such collaboration. And then you have inspirational supporters like Lee Pressel coming in from the community to help out. Kids helping kids, it doesn’t get any more beautiful than that.”

Lee’s story is outstanding: Lee celebrated his 11th birthday on August 23, 2015, and, looking at his $91 in birthday money, he decided to donate all of it to Hospice. Needing to know more, Lee and his family came by to talk about ARCH Hospice and Why it Matters.

Sitting down with Lee and his family was a humbling experience. Love and giving runs through their veins – you can feel it in the air. Lee is gregarious, outgoing, and energetic. In stark contrast, his twin sister, Patience, is serene and quiet. Their proud mother, Destine, sits between them, laughing at the juxtaposition while Lee answers questions for his sister and provides comical interruptions at every opportunity.

Lee recalls his time at ARCH Hospice, remembering spending time with his grandmother, Valerie. He would sit with her and play in the Family Room. “I remember the exact room she was in too,” he fondly recollects. Destine took a break from school in order to be at ARCH full-time with her mom. “I put school on hold,” recalls Destine, “school was always going to be there. My mother was not going to be around forever, she was more important. I spent almost every day at ARCH, and many nights.” Destine reminisced the last movie her mother and her watched together, Fried Green Tomatoes. “That’s my favourite movie now too!” interjected Lee.

 

Lee shows that every dollar counts and makes a difference.
Lee shows that every dollar counts and makes a difference.

Destine would bring items from home for her mother to go through. One day, Destine brought in Valerie’s jewellery so her mother could decide who in the family to give each piece to. Valerie left her grandson Lee a charm bracelet with the Ten Commandments on it, something he has since tried to find a deeper meaning. Lee thought out loud, “Did she leave it because I’m bad? No. I think she left it to me as a reminder to keep being a good person.” Destine agreed with her son, saying that the piece of life-advice Valerie left her was to “think of other people before yourself. Be selfless.”

 

When asked why he decided to donate his birthday money, Lee said he thought about the time he had spent with his grandmother 3 years before, and remembered that ARCH had to raise money “for food and water and heat.”

“He kept pestering me to bring the money in to donate it, so I finally called and we came in that very day,” remembers Destine.

A naturally generous boy, Lee is currently growing out his hair to donate to a cancer wig program. He also plans on being an active community member, stating, “One day, when I’m old enough, I’ll volunteer at ARCH.”

Lee said that while his grandmother taught him about respect and caring, he got his giving spirit from his grandfather. Lee says he looks up to his Grandpa, of whom he is named after, and that his Grandpa is more like a dad to him. When prodded further about why he’s so generous, he exclaimed, “Like my mom says, good comes back to you!” Although he didn’t say it out loud, its apparent that a healthy portion of this 12-year-old’s giving spirit comes from his mother as well.

Lee had some parting words of advice before he and his family left: “It’s easy to help. If you can buy ice cream, you can donate to ARCH. It’s that simple.”

To donate to ARCH Hospice’s Why it Matters campaign, or learn more about expansion, please visit www.whyitmatters.ca or contact Lee Rendell at 705-942-1556 extension 222 or [email protected].