Berwick raising the rooftop for Comox Valley Hospice Society

Food, wine, art, music, a silent auction and likely, laughs are in store for a fundraiser at Berwick Comox Valley's rooftop garden.

Food, wine, art, music, a silent auction and likely, laughs are in store for Thursday evening’s fundraiser at Berwick Comox Valley’s rooftop garden.

The fundraiser — Solstice in the Sky Garden, a Very Special Night, in a Very Special Place —  is Berwick’s effort to raise funds for the Comox Valley Hospice Society.

Linda Rutherford, marketing manager for Berwick, said the Hospice Society has a “special” place in Berwick’s heart, hence the name of the fundraiser.

“Since we opened in 2006, every year we ask our residents which three or four local charities they would like to support for the year and Comox Valley Hospice has always been one of the choices,” said Rutherford. “A lot of our residents and their family members have used hospice services in the past so it’s always been one of our favourite charities.”

The whole event will be upstairs in Berwick’s Rooftop Garden and Lounge, and Rutherford noted June 21 was chosen as the date to celebrate the longest day of the year in the outdoors.

“We said, ‘Let’s have a solstice evening in our roof garden’ and it just kind of grew from there,” said Rutherford. “It just seemed that the way the evening came together — people were interested in being part of it.”

She called Blue Moon Estate Winery to ask about a donation for the evening’s silent auction and the winery offered to do a wine tasting.

She contacted funnyman Arthur Black, a CBC radio personality and author, and he responded right away, saying he’d love to host the silent auction, which Rutherford said will likely be more funny than silent.

Local musicians Jenn Forsland and Sean Mooney will perform, tapas and treats by Berwick’s Red Seal chefs will be served and guests can take in the floral art of Lucy Schappy, which will be on display.

“So it just seemed to be the right idea, at the right time, for the right evening, for the right people,” said Rutherford, adding all she’s praying for is co-operation from the weather.

Auction items include a round-trip flight to Vancouver, a weekend on Mount Washington, an overnight stay in Berwick’s newest house in Victoria, spa treatments, gourmet edibles and drinkables, art, and a selection of goods and services from local businesses and individuals.

Terri Odeneal, executive director for the Comox Valley Hospice Society noted the society does not receive core funding from the Vancouver Island Health Authority, and fundraisers like this are important.

“We’re just thrilled that they’re doing this wonderful fundraiser, and it obviously means we’ll be able to continue to provide these services that we provide every year to more than 800 people in the community,” said Odeneal.

Tickets cost $50 and the evening runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets have nearly sold out, but anyone interested can call Berwick at 250-339-1690.

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