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German Canadian Club gives local hospice 57,000 reasons to smile

'The beautiful legacy the German Canadian Club has given, will make this journey a little easier,' Hopsice Huronia executive director says of club's 'amazing' donation to help those nearing the end
Pictured are from left to right: German Canadian Club member Dianne Paddags, Hospice Huronia executive director Debbie Kesheshian, club president Helmut Paddags and club secretaries Barbara Swyers and Heidi Fleischmann.

A local social club continues doing good deeds as it nears the end of the Autobahn.

Due to the dissolution of the German Canadian Club, Gemuetlichkeit 70, after 52 years, it is donating its remaining assets to various local charities.

This week, the group donated $57,000 to Hospice Huronia-Tomkins House to enable them to "carry on the many programs which help people going through a difficult time,” club president Helmut Paddags said.

“Hospice programs consist of at-home visitations, individual and group counselling, residence for patients in their final days and bereavement support. All of these programs are guided by a philosophy of caring that enables families to be nurtured.”

Hospice Huronia is one of eight charities sharing the $300,000 from the sale of the club's property on Triple Bay Road. Other groups receiving donations are the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre, Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation, Georgian Shores Swinging Seniors, Askennonia Senior Centre, La Maison Rosewood Shelter, Unity United Church and Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre.

Hospice Huronia-Tomkins House executive director Debbie Kesheshian said the good times club members once shared together reminds her of the kitchen table at the hospice.

“Every day, I see families and friends come together around similar things; food, stories, language and music and the comfort it brings to those who are at the end of life,”  Kesheshian said. “At Tomkins House and throughout the hospice movement, a special focus is placed on each individual and what makes them special. It’s about respect of customs and cultures.”

Kesheshian said the club’s “amazing” donation is true legacy to the community.

“The gift was made possible because of the vision of the members who saw land as an important asset back in the 1970s,” she said. “Similarly, the members of Hospice Huronia saw value in building Tomkins House, to ensure that hospice care had a home in this community. Members of the German club shared with me that their membership was getting older and found it was time to sell their property and dissolve their charity.”

Kesheshian said that the fact they chose Hospice Huronia as one of the fortunate recipients of their work demonstrates their love and commitment to this community.

“With age comes the inevitable fact that we all will die one day and the beautiful legacy the German Canadian Club has given, will make this journey a little easier,” she said. “A little more compassionate, a little more dignified and a little more respectful of all the people who will need Hospice.

“Our friends at the German Canadian Club have made this gift as an ending to this incredible era of fellowship they shared. How special is it, that this donation will be used to comfort others as they approach their own ending.”

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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country’s most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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