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$500,000 donation to Holmberg House

(From left) Donor Dave Holmberg stands with Angelo Rea, chair of the Abbotsford Hospice Society’s board of directors, and executive director Deb Lehmann after making a $500,000 contribution to the organization on Tuesday morning.  - Vikki Hopes
(From left) Donor Dave Holmberg stands with Angelo Rea, chair of the Abbotsford Hospice Society’s board of directors, and executive director Deb Lehmann after making a $500,000 contribution to the organization on Tuesday morning.
— image credit: Vikki Hopes

When Dave Holmberg was told that the Abbotsford Hospice Society (AHS) wanted to name its new facility “Holmberg House,” he made a commitment to provide up to $1 million in funding to help build it.

On Tuesday morning, he and his family contributed half that amount in a quiet presentation to AHS staff at Hospice House on Marshall Road.

Holmberg said AHS has always been close to his heart, starting about 25 years ago when he first volunteered at the facility.

“I truly appreciate the good work that you guys do,” he said in presenting the funds.

The building on Marshall Road has been home to hospice programs and services for many years, but a new facility will begin construction next year adjacent to Abbotsford Regional Hospital as part of the Dave Lede Campus of Care.

It will include the city’s first adult hospice – a 10-bed facility for people 19 years and older who are unable to pass away at home.

It was named Holmberg House last year in memory of Dave Holmberg Jr., who succumbed to cancer on March 30, 2011 at the age of 48.

AHS executive director Debbie Lehmann thanked the Holmberg family for their generosity.

“We couldn’t do it without you. Your ongoing support, starting 25 years ago, makes all the difference,” she said.

Groundbreaking on Holmberg House is expected to take place early in the new year.

The Campus of Care also includes the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, currently under construction, and Matthew’s House, a respite facility for children with severe disabilities.

Also this week, representatives from the MSA, Abbotsford and Clearbrook Kiwanis Clubs presented the final $6,000 cheque of a three-year $18,000 commitment to Holmberg House.

Lehmann said AHS is now about halfway to achieving its $12-million fundraising goal for its capital campaign.

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