Toast a Great Cause

Hospice fundraiser a community favorite

By Colin Anderson | Photo By Norma Jeane's Photography

End-of-life care is often one of the most difficult times—not just for the individual but for the caretakers as well. It’s something Hospice of North Idaho recognizes and, in turn, provides family grief support, spiritual care, and specialized counseling for young children, to go along with individualized care for each of its hospice and palliative care patients.


Since 1981, thousands of families have been touched by Hospice of North Idaho (HONI), the area’s only nonprofit hospice serving Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah counties. HONI employs a staff of more than 100 alongside dozens of volunteers to ensure those suffering grave illness will be well cared for during such a difficult time.


Unique to Hospice of North Idaho, care is not limited based upon a patient or family’s ability to pay. The organization’s vision is to create a community where all people can live fully and die with dignity. HONI is able to continue its mission through the dedication of its staff and volunteers, and also the continued support from the community. Those who have had a loved one cared for at home, or in the Schneidmiller House, often want to give back to the organization. Others in the community also recognize how important Hospice of North Idaho is to their friends and neighbors.


HONI’s yearly fundraiser is just around the corner. Calendars are marked well in advance for the Hospice Wine Taste, one of the community’s most fun—and most impactful—annual fundraisers. We recently caught up with Executive Director Kim Ransier, who outlined this year’s event, the fun to be had, and why it’s so important to the organization.


Please describe the festivities for those who have not yet had a chance to attend a wine taste.

Our Wine Taste and Auction is our only annual fundraiser to support Hospice of North Idaho, the only nonprofit hospice in North Idaho. This year our event will be held at The Coeur d’Alene Resort on February 5, 2022, at 5pm. You can expect formal attire, lavish décor, impeccable food and exquisite wine at our event. This event makes for a memorable evening shared with a community of local philanthropists to support our Hospice mission, “With open hearts and expertise, we serve the seriously ill and those touched by loss.” At the end of the evening, we have an after-party at Whispers to end our evening celebration.


What are some of the more unique prizes, games and auction items available this year?

Our games are a highlight at our event. Scattered around the room are games you play with “chips” you purchase on our EventBrite ahead of time or at the door. We have fabulous silent and live auctions as a main staple to our event. We have silent auction items donated by local businesses and community members, such as valuable gift baskets, gift certificates, jewelry, sports tickets, and designer purses, to name a few. Our live auction packages range from travel, exciting adventures, and exclusive packages local or abroad. Our main raffle prize is a trip voucher to use where and when the winner chooses, worth $4,995. The winner does not need to be present to win! Raffle tickets can be purchased online at HospiceWineTaste.org.


How much does this event mean to your yearly fundraising goal, and what programs and operations do funds from the wine taste help with throughout the year?

It is a memorable night of great wines, fabulous food, and a commitment by our community, who continue to support our mission for over 40 years! All the funds raised go to furthering the mission at Hospice of North Idaho. We provide expert care and compassion for all those experiencing their end-of-life journey in Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah counties, regardless of their financial resources.


How does the wine tasting work, and are bottles available for purchase?

We have local caterers and wine vendors that are located around the room. Wine and food are unlimited with a generous amount. Each guest gets a purchase list included with a program for wine offered at our event to be used to mark your favorite wines. Wine can be purchased at our event during checkout.


What is your favorite part about the event?

We love seeing our community attend, dressed up, showing support, and participating in such a fun evening. This event is all about celebrating with our community to honor our mission.


If folks are unable to attend, what other ways can they support Hospice of North Idaho?

Yes, yes! You can purchase raffle tickets online at HospiceWineTaste.org. The raffle is for a trip anywhere up to $4,995! Each raffle ticket is $50, and only 500 are sold. Businesses can help by sponsoring our event, or donating items to our silent auction is a big help. All donations allow us to continue our mission of care and comfort for all during their end-of-life journey.


Is there anything else you would like to share?

Our goal this year is to have an enjoyable evening and honor our staff, who cared for so many during such challenging times the past two years, and to show our deep appreciation of the value our community places on expert end-of-life care.

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