Sometimes, life can get pretty wild, and we often forget to take a minute to step back and appreciate its beauty. We tend to more easily recognize the value of life during difficult times, such as facing the challenge of supporting a loved one through a life-limiting illness.
ViVA! 2014, Haven Hospice’s annual signature fundraising event, will encourage us to enjoy a new side of life on April 12.
Recognized as the “Best Charity Event” by readers of HOME in 2013, ViVA! is straying from the carnival theme of the past two years to kick off its 10th anniversary in a brand-new way. This year’s event will feature a safari theme inspired by the organization’s sister hospice located in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Since we can’t all hop on a plane for an African safari, ViVA! will be bringing the safari to us. The planners of ViVA! will transform Rembert Farm in Alachua into an African jungle for the more than 600 expected attendees. Complete with plant decorations, catering from Blue Water Bay and entertainment by University of Florida students, ViVA! is sure to transport guests deep into the wilderness. This year’s special feature will be an African display set up by the Harn Museum of Art. ViVA! will also be hosting an auction with many assorted items, including a trip to Africa.
As Haven Hospice’s premier event for raising funds, ViVA! will garner financial support for the not-for-profit organization’s unfunded programs and services, which include grief support and counseling as well as caregiver support. The event also helps fund Camp Safe Haven, where children receive help in understanding their grief and finding a sense of peace.
“One hundred percent of the gifts and donations made to Haven remains in the communities we serve and helps provide care for patients unable to pay, as well as the many unfunded programs and services we offer,” stated Haven Hospice in its 2012 community report.
Since 1979, Haven Hospice has supported more than 68,000 patients and their families in North Florida who are receiving end-of-life care, standing true to its mission to honor life by providing comfort, care and compassion to those they serve.
“Haven Hospice does a great job of treating people with dignity and respect,” said Bonnie Morse, an original member of the ViVA! committee. “We have all been very fortunate to be part of an event that directly benefits so many people.”
Haven Hospice’s desire is to provide support to anyone who needs it, regardless of financial circumstances. According to Haven’s website, the not-for-profit organization does not turn anyone away from its services, a standard that is upheld through contributions from community supporters.
As ViVA! has continuously gained more popularity in the past few years, this year’s 10th anniversary celebration is eagerly anticipated by guests and planners alike.
“It’s going to be a fun event full of new food, new activities and new memories for each person to take home with them,” said Stephanie Brod, fundraising and special events coordinator for Haven Hospice.For more information about ViVA! 2014, go online to www.havenhospice.org/viva. To purchase tickets or become a sponsor or auction donor, contact Stephanie Brod at 352-271-4665 or by email at [email protected]