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Community Hospice Foundation Celebrates 20th Annual Gala
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Chicago, complete with gangsters and pizza, was one of the ‘stops’ along the Route 66 trip enjoyed by attendees at the recent Community Hospice Foundation annual gala, hosted on May 15. Photo Contributed

Gathering for a fun evening on Saturday, May 15, over 330 community members took a journey down Route 66 at the Community Hospice Foundation 20th Annual Gala. Held in the airport district at Ann Endsley’s 3400 Finch Road industrial park, guest traveled in their cars through the parking lot from ‘Chicago’ to sunny ‘Santa Monica’ guided by a mobile app. Guests enjoyed the amazing sites and entertainment and had the opportunity to learn more about the important programs offered by Community Hospice. Trip admission included appetizers, a multi-course take-home dinner prepared by Greens with wine pairings and other special surprises and goodies. Open to the public was an online auction through Handbid and a chance to participate in a Raffle Drawing for a brand-new Toyota Corolla thanks to Hospice community partner Modesto Toyota.

Several community members were recognized for their dedicated service and support in advancing the organization’s mission. The Julio R. and Aileen Gallo Leadership Award was awarded to Mr. Jim and Mrs. Lisa Cogdill for their passionate commitment and enthusiastic leadership. The Honorable Tom and Mrs. Grace Van Groningen were awarded the John and June Rogers Philanthropic Award for embodying the heart of hospice by giving and raising funds to assure that the mission of Community Hospice continues, regardless of the patient’s or family’s ability to pay. The Harold A. Peterson, III Heart of Hospice Award was presented to Dr. Larry and Mrs. Nancy Podolsky for their long-standing commitment to the mission of Community Hospice. To learn more about the award recipients visit, Community Hospice Awards - YouTube.

This year’s Honk for Hospice (cash for the cause) was to raise needed funds to support Camp Erin of the Central Valley. Thanks to generous donors, Honk for Hospice raised necessary funds to support many children in the community who have experienced a loss.

“This year’s gala was very special, and we are all delighted with the outcome. The public health emergency crisis pushed us to think outside the box when it came to our Gala. We were certain we wanted to continue to hold our event as it is crucial in supporting our services and programs, but also recognized that it would have to look completely different than prior years to keep everyone safe,” Community Hospice Foundation Executive Director, Melissa Van Diepen said. “The result was our Route 66 Road Trip Experience which would not have been possible without our amazing Co-Chairs, committee members, staff, volunteers and guests. Ultimately, we celebrated our 20th Annual Gala with our community friends, enjoyed some delicious entertainment and food and most importantly raised funds to support the mission of Community Hospice. We are humbled and grateful for the continued dedication and generosity our community members. We are looking forward to next year’s Gala and hope everyone saves the date, May 21, 2022.”

The 20th Annual Anniversary Celebration Gala was a great success raising more than $277,000 to support the patients, families and programs of Community Hospice.

Community Hospice Foundation is a community-based nonprofit, raising awareness and funds to support the patients and families of Community Hospice.

Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors offering compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and families, regardless of ability to pay. Care extends to over 2,000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information, call 209-578-6300 or visit

The mission of Community Hospice is to embrace individuals and families facing life-changing journeys, enhancing quality of life for all.