The Arundel Hospice now has a permanent endowment, thanks to Jerry Sparks and the Severna Park Kiwanis, who donated $147,000 in proceeds from the sale of a Severna Park home they built from the ground up.
The undertaking, begin in the winter of 1989, was the first of its kind in international Kiwanis history, Severna Park Kiwanis PresidentBooker McManus said.
"There are over 2,000 man-hours from Kiwanis people alone in thathouse," Sparks said, pointing proudly to the two-story, four-bedroomcolonial built under his supervision and sold last month. "Everyone contributed something, even if it was just sawing a board or sweepingthe floor."
Sparks conceived the idea for the donation along withhospice Executive Director Beverly Bassford. Both live in Cape Arthur near the Sunset Drive lot, which the county had set aside three decades ago for a road that was never built.
Bassford arranged for the hospice to buy the land, while Sparks rallied the 40-member SevernaPark Kiwanis around the idea.
"It was really a win-win-win situation. The county benefits because it now has another property on the tax roles, the hospice benefits because we got an endowmentand the Kiwanis benefit because they had something to rally around," Bassford said.
Neighbors mildly protested the project because the lot is usedas a short cut by Folger-McKinsey Elementary pupils, but Sparks carved a narrow path along the side of the property to satisfy them.
Working mostly on weekends, the Kiwanis finished the home in 18 months. Supplies and services were donated by 20 Severna Parkbusinesses and service clubs.
Unfortunately, the house sat on the market for almost a year before Ira and Molly Winkler bought it last month for around $200,000.
In addition to the $147,000 in profits from the sale, the hospice received an unexpected dividend from the Winklers whenthe computer programmers volunteered to maintain a database for it.
"This is by far the biggest single donation we've ever received,"Bassford said.
The Arundel Hospice opened in Millersville 12 years ago to provide the medical care and support for terminally ill patients and their families across the county.
Approximately half of thehospice's $550,000 annual budget comes from insurance payments and grants. Because the organization provides care regardless of income orinsurance coverage, the other half comes from donations.