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Dennis, who has been getting support and care from HopeWest, had a request. He wanted someone to play the guitar with and to play in front of a crowd. “Finding a volunteer who plays guitar is more difficult than you would think. We found a perfect fit in Connie,” Lisa Ortner, Senior Director of Volunteer Services, said.

Connie, who began volunteering for HopeWest in 2019, is a patient care volunteer who also happens to enjoy playing the guitar. She started playing in college and has been a part of a few local bluegrass bands.

He had taken a few guitar lessons, but Connie helped him through some of his playing challenges. “I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver and “Silent Night” were the two songs Dennis chose to play.

Even through difficulty, Dennis was able to strum the tunes to an audience of about 15 HopeWest employees. Connie was with him every step of the way, to volunteer her time in this unusual capacity really highlights how patient care is more than physical well-being.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but Dennis is a natural performer! He really engaged the audience. I could tell it meant a lot to him,” Connie said.

At HopeWest, it’s important to us to care for a person in their entirety: mind, body and spirit. This request required the help of multiple departments across our organization, from Hospice, Palliative Care and our Living with Cancer programs, all the way to Facilities, the CLUB, Volunteer Services and Transportation. Thank you to our amazing volunteers and staff who make the seemingly impossible, possible.

A special thank you to Nicole and Cindy, two members of Dennis’s hospice team who helped carry out his wishes. Also, a thank you to Dani and Beth who assisted in coordinating across departments.

Dennis is already planning his next concert, and we can’t wait for him and Connie to share more songs with us.

Interested in volunteering at HopeWest?

“I didn’t know what to expect, but Dennis is a natural performer! He really engaged the audience. I could tell it meant a lot to him,”

Connie, HopeWest Volunteer

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