From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Holy Family House gives a home to medical patients’ families

by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register

(From the Dec. 20, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

On March 31, Holy Family Foundation held a highly successful dinner-dance and auction to raise funds for renovation of Holy Family House. Eight months later, on Dec. 6, an open house was held at the now-remodeled facility.

What is Holy Family House? Holy Family Hospital uses the facility for patients and their families who need a place to stay during medical care, but can’t afford the expense of a hotel.

The charity event brought in all the needed funds, plus some to spare.

The foundation was given the responsibility of raising money for the renovation and set a goal of $34,000. The dinner-dance and auction, titled “La Fête,” raised $44,000.

La Fête, held at the DoubleTree in downtown Spokane, proved to be a colorful event, as well as a successful one, with 360 people in attendance.

According to JoAnne Watts, the foundation’s associate director, guests sat at tables that were decorated with different themes, such as the Wizard of Oz and the Flintstones.

Creativity and cleverness were the rule, she said, as she explained some of the tables’ decorations. One table’s theme was “wine stomping.” “The people who decorated (that table) included themselves,” she said. “They dyed their feet and lower legs purple and then wore sandals to the dinner.”

Each table had its own auction item, which was determined by the theme. An example Watts gave was the Baywatch table’s auction item — a trip to Huntington Beach, Calif.

Adding a bonus to the money raised at the dinner was the volunteer labor done at Holy Family House by former Kaiser supervisors and employees. Among other things, they ripped out cabinets and carpet, and Watts said their donated work totaled $14,000.

Holy Family Hospital owns the attractive brick duplex at 415 E. Central Avenue and decided to update the unit when it became vacant. The two-bedroom unit has a full kitchen and washer and dryer and is located near the hospital. The previous Holy Family House was a small one-bedroom apartment.

Who uses Holy Family House is determined on a case by case basis. In-patients are assigned a case manager who determines if they are eligible for the house. It is primarily for patients from outlying areas. No one is turned away for inability to pay, but Watts said a donation of $10 per night is suggested.

Jesuit Father Bob Fitts blessed the unit during the open house.

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