Since 2009, 92-year-old Elma Johnson has helped raise more than $106,500 by auctioning her wild blackberry pies at the annual Ports of Call Gala & Auction! Elma’s special connection to Hospice of the Northwest goes a long way back. Her son, Paul Johnson, was the Hospice Medical Director from 2007-2014 and was in the first group of physicians in the nation to earn a board certification in Hospice and Palliative Care. Paul passed away in 2016 at home with hospice care.
“The Hospice of the Northwest team are life savers and life givers. They really help with the right actions at the right time, during such an important time,” Elma recalls. “They really kept my spirits up through the whole process.” Both her husband and daughter passed away in her home with hospice support.
“I remember it was December, and my daughter with breast cancer was here at my home. The hospice nurse was there with us for support in the final moments. The nurse called us over to point out a white dove sitting outside on a tree. It felt like such a gift, much like the comfort hospice provided during this time. Once she passed, the bird left. The whole family saw the dove; it was such a beautiful experience.”
When asked about the donors who bid mind-boggling amounts year after year, Elma responded, “I just love those people. It’s reassuring to me that there are people in this world that want to help by giving money for good causes such as this.” Through the inspiring generosity of donors, Elma’s legacy thrives and compassionate, dignified hospice care is available to our community.