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Haven hosts Fall on the Prairie

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck

Set against the warm autumn evening, the Whitehurst Ranch provided the perfect backdrop Saturday for this year’s Fall on the Prairie, a fund-raiser for Haven Hospice.

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This year’s event, with 400 guests, raised about $50,000.

From archery demonstrations and  the toe-tapping music of Dottie South and the Slackers to barbecue beans and a silent auction, guests were treated to Southern hospitality on the rambling property while they caught up with old friends and greeted new ones.

The 16-bed care center, located in Chiefland, opened in 2004 and serves an average of 110 patients each year within the Dixie-Levy-Gilchrist County area.

In 2011, 620 patients were cared for by the Haven Hospice team and to date more than 485 have used their services.

Fifty staff members and over 100 volunteers work together to ensure each patient is treated with love, courtesy and respect during their end of days while also providing support for their families and loved ones. Haven Hospice has spent more than $271,000 on donor-supported programs and services.

In March 2012, Haven Hospice opened its Attic Resale Store. Sales have topped $154,000 in the last seven months.

This year, according to Administrator Patrick Allen, Hospice will sponsor a Kids’ Night that will allow children to come in and Christmas shop for the parents and siblings – all for free. Donations of new and gently used items are always welcomed, he said.

Dinner, catered by Williston’s The Ivy House, included beef tips and braised  chicken quarters with all the trimmings. 

During dessert, cowboy poet Doyle Rigdon kept supporters laughing with his tales from the ranch.

A live auction, called by Roy Strickland, followed and saw patrons wagering for a two-day fishing trip, a cross bow, an autographed Easton Corbin guitar and a pair of 1.05 carat  diamond earrings. When the dust settled, $3,850 was realized from the four items.