By Gord Bowes, News staff
Louanne Breau’s favourite time of year was Halloween.
This Saturday, her spirit will surely be in the air at the third annual Haunted Hallowe’en Party her younger sister Judi Kew is organizing to raise money for the Dr. Bob Kemp Centre for Hospice Palliative Care.
“Halloween was a big thing for us growing up,” said Kew. “Our mother always used to decorate the house.”
Breau, 51, was in the Dr. Bob hospice, in the final stages of her battle with brain cancer, when the first Haunted Halloween Party was held in 2010 and could not attend. Kew decorated her room in a haunted theme to make her sister more comfortable.
Breau’s favourite movie was the 1993 Bette Midler comedy about three witches, Hocus Pocus.
“Even when her memory was really bad and she couldn’t follow things, I would put that on and she’d say lines to me, so I knew that she was still there.”
Kew started as a committee member on the first Halloween fundraiser and took over as organizer last year. She said knew a little about hospice care because her sister-in-law was unable to get in one two years earlier. She died while waiting to get into a hospice.
The 10-bed central Mountain hospice only gets about half of it funding from the government and needs $130,000 a month to operate. Patients are not charged during their stay.
“Bob Kemp is an unbelievable facility to have a family member at,” says Kew. “The care is unbelievable there. It’s very homey.”
Kew encourages others to help the hospice with their own fundraisers.
“My sister was there for just over three months. If you think of the price that would have cost at another facility … you want to do whatever you can for them.”
The Haunted Halloween Party is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Ukrainian Hall, 821 Upper Wentworth St. Call 905-387-2448 for tickets.
Saturday night isn’t just about the salute to spooks and raising money for Dr. Bob’s Place, it’s also about thanking the staff and volunteers from the hospice,” says Kew.
“I just want them to have a good, fun night and not think about all the other things that happen.”