12/11/07 — Kitty Askins Mardi Gras fundraiser planned

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Kitty Askins Mardi Gras fundraiser planned

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 11, 2007 1:52 PM

Mardi Gras will come early this year, when Kitty Askins Hospice Center presents its three-fold celebration on Feb. 23 at the Walnut Creek Country Club.

The reverse drawing, silent auction and dinner dance boasts a $5,000 grand prize and voting for a king and queen, with all proceeds going to the expansion fund of Kitty Askins.

Kitty Askins is part of 3HC, or Home Health and Hospice, operating in the county for more than 26 years. Kitty Askins opened in 1995 as an inpatient facility with six beds, expanding to double that in 1997.

The needs continue to exceed capacity, though. With a 98.7 percent occupancy rate, it has become the most utilized facility in North Carolina, officials say.

"In 2006, we had 199 patients on the waiting list at Kitty but were denied admission because no beds were available," said April Brantham, community development coordinator of 3HC.

In May of this year, 3HC received state approval to develop six additional residential and six additional acute beds, for a total of 12 beds. Plans for the expanded facility include bedrooms with wider doors to allow wheel bed accessibility onto the private patios, a new chapel and solace room, and a larger family gathering space.

This year's fundraising push will be the Mardi Gras celebration Feb. 23. Doors open at 5:30 for the silent auction, with the reverse drawing to start at 7:15 p.m. Dinner will be between the two events, with a dance to follow.

Tickets are $100 per couple.

There is a new facet to this year's event, said Kathy Lies, co-president of the advisory board and on the 3HC executive board -- selection of a king and queen.

There are currently four couples competing for king and queen -- Mayor Al King and his wife, Juanita, Jill and Sean Nielson, Geoff and Leigh Hulse, and Ben Strickland, Jr. and his fiancee Adrienne Parker. Others are also welcome to enter, Mrs. Lies said. Chosen by votes of $1 each, which can be submitted at 3HC or by mailing a check to the office, winners will receive a portrait by Windy Lampson valued at $900.

For information or to make a donation, call Ms. Brantham at 735-1387, ext. 1072, or mail them to April Brantham or Susan Malewich, 2402 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro, N.C. 27530.