Volunteers Cathy and Dave Edwards’ gratitude to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills cast in stone

Published 1:13 pm Thursday, March 10, 2011

HoCF Volunteers Cathy and Dave Edwards relax on the Path of Remembrance at Hospice House of the Carolina Foothills, in sight of the engraved bricks and paver that serve as the couple's permanent remembrance of their loved ones. (photo submitted)

by Maureen Smith for HoCF

Even though Cathy and Dave Edwards are retired, you might think of them as “professional volunteers.” In addition to many other volunteer efforts, Cathy gives her time to the Hospice House of the Carolina Foothills in Landrum every week.

“The main thing I want people to know is that the Hospice House is not intimidating at all,” Cathy said. “I thought it might be when I first went, but it is the opposite. It is nothing like people might imagine if they have not been there. It is calming and peaceful, and families that come in seem to relax right away.

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In addition to Cathy’s work at the Hospice House, she and Dave both volunteer one morning a week at the Hospice Thrift Barn.

“It’s such a good, happy atmosphere with the volunteers and the customers who come in are always remarking about what great deals they find,” Dave said.

“Shoppers come to the Barn from within a 50-mile radius,” adds a Hospice Thrift Barn staff member. “Many people don’t know that the proceeds from the Barn go to support patients at the Hospice House. It is truly a win-win for both Barn shoppers and the entire community.”

“At this point, HoCF has touched almost everyone in the community,” Dave insisted. “Nearly everyone has a family member who has received Hospice care, or they know someone who has. That is why so many people feel like they want to give back.”

“This sounds like a cliché,” Cathy chimed in, “but it happens to be true. We get far more out of our Hospice activities than the people we help. And volunteers don’t have to choose between just the Hospice House or the Barn,” she added. “There is something for everyone to contribute as a Hospice volunteer.”

As contagiously enthusiastic as they are about their volunteer work, they said they are especially pleased about their recent additions to the Path of Remembrance at the Hospice House.

“It is so nice to think you can remember someone in such a special way,” Cathy said, referring to the bricks and paver they purchased in honor of Dave’s family members (mother, Ruth Greene Edwards, and brothers Steve and Jimmy Edwards).

“My brother Jimmy received Hospice care at home,” Dave explained. “And Hospice impressed us because they did so much for him and the rest of the family. We became volunteers for that reason, and we try to do everything we can to show our appreciation to Hospice. They are just such a good, good group.”

“We also bought a brick in honor of Dave’s cousin, Weldon Kermit Cantrell,” says Cathy. “Kermit was a Tryon native who worked in the press room at the Tryon Daily Bulletin when the Vining family owned it,” Dave explained. A lot of people knew and liked him in town, and he made Tryon proud by going to N.C. State and becoming a nuclear engineer. According to Dave, “I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He was a good man.”

The Edwards thought the permanent remembrance at Hospice House of the Carolina Foothills was a fitting tribute to him.

“The bricks and pavers are a special and permanent way to give back to Hospice,” Cathy said. “Permanent is the word I’d like to emphasize,” she added. “They are literally cast in stone. People are remembered forever.”

If you would like to find out more about the Hospice House Path of Remembrance, contact Diane or Maureen in the development office at 828-894-7000 or 864-457-9122. If you are interested in learning more about the broad range of Hospice Volunteer opportunities, contact Kim Smith at 828-894-7000 or Tracey Brannon at 864-457-9125.