'Home for Hospice' aims to raise $500,000

PLATTSBURGH - Hospice of the North Country is turning to the community for support.

The nonprofit organization, which provides end-of-life care to patients and families dealing with terminal illness, recently launched a capital campaign to help underwrite costs of building a new administrative facility on Tom Miller Road. "Home for Hospice" aims to raise $500,000 to complete construction of the 3,500-square-foot building in time for use this spring.

Kent W. Brooks, executive director of Hospice of the North Country, said the purpose of the campaign is to relieve the organization of the burden of a mortgage.

"What we've done is a mass mailing to people in our database of between 11,000 and 12,000 people, asking our friends and supporters to help offset the costs we've had to incur," explained Brooks. "We're working as hard as we can to have the end result be no mortgage to burn whatsoever."

The capital campaign is already receiving a warm response, said Brooks. The idea is to keep the momentum going by reaching out to civic organizations, churches and the business community in the weeks to come, he added. The goal is to raise the amount by May 1, when the organization is expected to be moved into its new home.

"That's our hope," said Brooks.

Hospice of the North Country has been examining a move from its current location on Durkee Street since last May. However, the idea wasn't cost-efficient until the organization was offered land for the building at half of market value by Donald M. and Suzanne B. Kasprzak. Generosity continued when building supply merchants and contractors stepped forward to provide a percentage of materials and labor for construction at no cost.

"That brings the project total significantly lower than if we had to buy everything," said Brooks.

The generosity of the Kasprzaks and those working on the project have helped bring the building nearer to completion, said Brooks. Finishing touches are currently under way inside the building, including painting and installing flooring, light fixtures and built-in desks. Outside, grading, landscaping and paving are among the final things to be done to complete the project.

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