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Glenn Radl’s greatest loves were music and baseball caps. He wore a cap every day, but he didn’t get many opportunities to sing. In April, a special celebration arranged by the Agrace Wish Program gave Glenn his big chance.
It was the 100th kind act coordinated and financially supported by the Wish Program since it was created in 2010 by longtime donors and volunteers Matt and Susan Richardson.
Glenn, 64, had Down syndrome. He lived independently in Madison with roommates and with long-term support from Community Living Connections (CLC). Over the years, his caregivers grew very fond of him. When Glenn became an Agrace HospiceCare patient early this year, his CLC community support manager asked Agrace for a wish. It was partly for Glenn, but also to help the long-time caregivers around him with their anticipatory grief, says his Agrace social worker, Barb Goble.
Choosing a location was easy: Middleton Sport Bowl, where Glenn and his friends bowled twice a week for years and where he was everybody’s favorite, says Barb. The Wish Program treated Glenn, his caregivers, family and friends to a buffet lunch, plus balloons and cake. There were custom baseball caps for all (a gift from his brother), and much to Glenn’s delight, a four-piece jazz band.
Over the years, caregivers took Glenn to many music events, Barb explains, “but they said it was a challenge keeping him off the stage!” Before his party, Glenn had never been handed a mic and allowed to sing with a band. This day, he sang for more than an hour, his enthusiastic vocals stunning his caregivers—because he rarely spoke at all.
“Glenn never stopped smiling,” says Tracy Buglass of the Agrace Foundation, who helped arrange this wish. “He was a natural-born performer!”
Through this wish from Agrace, Glenn realized a life dream, and his loved ones had the joy of witnessing his big moment. “The party was meaningful for his family, too,” says Barb Goble. “It let them take time to thank all the caregivers in his life.”
As Agrace grows, requests for our grief support are also growing rapidly. To meet the community’s need for this care, we will open the new Agrace Grief Support Center on August 14 at 2906 Marketplace Drive, Fitchburg.
This new Center is a specialized space where both adults and children can share their experiences and emotions, and find help coping with grief after a death. Anyone can use it—patients’ families and friends, and people whose loved ones died without hospice care.
Services offered at the Agrace Grief Support Center include:
We also continue to offer grief support groups at our Janesville, Baraboo and Rockford locations, and in other select communities.
To ensure that we can continue to serve all those in our community who need grief support, there will be a modest fee for all Agrace grief support services, beginning August 14. If needed, this fee can be lowered or waived. There is no fee for family members of our hospice patients for grief support services we provide in the 12 months following the patient’s death.
Thank you to Dan Bertler, owner of Supreme Structures, Fitchburg, who donated his services to renovate the interior space for the new Center!
Agrace volunteers bring comfort to our patients with several “complementary” services. We need more volunteers to help us offer these services:
Free training is provided for volunteers. If you’re interested in helping with any of these complementary services, please call (608) 327-7163 or visit agrace.org/volunteer.
During their lifetimes, some Agrace donors make a visionary decision—to help ensure that others will continue to benefit from Agrace’s essential services for decades to come. By naming Agrace as a beneficiary of their life insurance or retirement policies, or establishing a charitable gift annuity now, these donors are choosing to help sustain our care in the future.
In the first four months of 2017, Agrace received a record number of such “planned gifts,” including some that were wonderful surprises! That was certainly the case with one from Al Goldstein and his late wife, Sherry.
Best known as “Mr. G” of Carmen’s, the “coat store of Madison,” Al Goldstein was grateful to be “on the giving side of life.” Friends say he was devoted to those less fortunate. After he died in January with Agrace’s care, we learned that Al had named Agrace as a beneficiary of his IRA. With that decision, Al and Sherry left a legacy of compassionate care for patients and families facing serious and life-limiting illnesses.
Interested in including Agrace in your estate plans? Contact Courtney Polster at (608) 327-7139 to learn how you can be a part of Agrace’s future. Is Agrace already in your plans? Let us know, so we can say thank you!
Agrace Palliative Care has a new name—PalliaHealth by Agrace—and we’re expanding the ways this line of palliative care services provides care and support to people struggling with serious illness. We’ve included “health” in our new name to emphasize that PalliaHealth is different from hospice care. PalliaHealth helps people at any stage of a serious illness feel better and worry less.
The goal of PalliaHealth by Agrace is to help people get more relief from their physical symptoms, stress, and side effects of medications and treatment. The most common way we do this is through PalliaHealth Consultations. These detailed, in-home visits are made by a PalliaHealth nurse practitioner or doctor. You can have a PalliaHealth Consultation while you continue to get treatment for your illness.
We’re also collaborating with our affiliate partners, UW Health and UnityPoint Health–Meriter, as well as with SSM Health and ElderSpan long-term care facilities, to create several new related PalliaHealth services. These collaborations will help us bring the expert care of our PalliaHealth staff to more people in Agrace’s service area.
Proceeds from this new one-mile fun walk and timed 5K run/walk will support our Care for All Endowment Campaign. Care for All is a donor-funded program that offers help paying when patients do not have a way to pay for the care they need from Agrace.
A generous lead donation from the BerbeeWalsh Foundation is helping offset costs for the race, which starts at Agrace’s Madison campus in Fitchburg on Sunday, September 17. We’re aiming to have at least 200 participants and raise $10,000.
You can ensure that everyone has access to our quality, compassionate care in the toughest moments of life. Register here to run or walk.
If you’d like to volunteer to help with race-day needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (608) 276-4660.
Brenda González, Agrace diversity manager, has been named one of the 29 Most Powerful Latinos in Wisconsin by Madison 365, a nonprofit news organization that fosters dialog between members of diverse communities. She was honored for her work to “help health care organizations move toward health equity.”
At Agrace, she helps improve access to care for diverse and underserved patients, and works to ensure that our staff and volunteer workforce reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.
This year’s Agrace Auto Raffle gives you three chances to win! In addition to our first prize, a 2017 Honda Civic LX donated by Zimbrick Honda, we will award a second prize of $1,000, and a third prize of $250.
Tickets are $10 each, and only 4,000 tickets will be sold. Raffle proceeds directly support patient care. Ticket sales start July 4 (at the Madison Mallards game) and continue until all 4,000 tickets are sold—or until the prize drawing on September 17. You can buy tickets from any Agrace employee, and at the Agrace thrift stores, Zimbrick Honda on Fish Hatchery Road, and all southern Wisconsin Cost Cutters salons.
See ticket purchase locations, raffle rules and complete details at WinTheCivic.org.
The raffle is possible only through the support of our presenting sponsor, Zimbrick Honda; featured sponsor, Cost Cutters; and supporting sponsors Adams Outdoor Advertising, Madison Mallards, Mid-West Family Marketing and the Wisconsin State Journal. Thank you!
You could win a new 2017 Honda Civic–and support patient care from Agrace. See details at winthecivic.org.
Register by July 7 here. Call Lindsay at (608) 327-7239.
For maps, visit agracethriftstore.org.
Meets for six Tuesdays, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Agrace. Call Jody at (608) 327-7118 to register.
Meets for six Tuesdays, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Agrace. Call Laura at (608) 314-2924 to register.
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Join us for a fun, NEW fundraiser at Circus World in Baraboo, featuring a private circus performance, tiger experience and benefit auction. Call Lisa at (608) 327-7180 to register.
An annual memorial event; details at agrace.org/brickwalk.
Register online here, or call Lindsay at (608) 327-7239.
Visit is at 118 Junction Road, Madison or agracethriftstore.org.
Register today here.
To register, or to sponsor this event at the Edgewater, call Lindsay at (608) 327-7239.