Bob Rodgerson in the Yarmouth Lions Club hall, where a roast beef dinner will be held March 16 to benefit Fidelis House in Kentville.ERIC BOURQUE PHOTO
By Eric Bourque
It is described as a “home away from home,” a place to stay for people who have loved ones in the Valley Regional Hospital or for those receiving outpatient treatment there, and over the years Fidelis House has provided overnight accommodations to many, including a good number of people from southwestern Nova Scotia.
Among them is Bob Rodgerson, who again this year is heading up the organizational effort for a Yarmouth Lions Club project – a roast beef dinner to be held at the Lions hall Sunday, March 16 – that will serve as a fundraiser for Fidelis House.
Close to 200 people attended last year’s dinner, raising almost $3,000.
“We give them (Fidelis House) the whole thing, everything we make,” Rodgerson said.
Pleased with the turnout in 2013, he says he would like this year’s event to be at least as successful as last year’s.
Rodgerson is among the many who are grateful for the service provided by Fidelis House, a volunteer-run facility whose history has a connection to the Yarmouth area.
Shirley Cameron was a Yarmouth native who lived in the Annapolis Valley and who spent years receiving treatment in Halifax for leukemia. She dreamed of a place where visiting friends or family members of people in the hospital – or people being treated in the hospital as outpatients – could stay overnight at a reasonable cost. She named her dream after her mother – Fidelis – but Shirley Cameron died in 1988 before her dream was realized.
Her good friend Gertrude Morse took up the torch, however. She organized a fundraising group and did what she could to spread the word about the project. Nova Scotia Lions Clubs got involved and eventually Fidelis House was established.
Fidelis House is open seven days a week and is staffed by volunteers. It charges $20 per night for a room.
Cameron and Morse believed there was a need for a place like Fidelis House and apparently the need is greater than ever. The organization’s website says, “Demand for our services is steadily growing.”
The Yarmouth dinner on March 16 is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. People can pay at the door, but they are encouraged to get their tickets in advance so that organizers have an idea how many people to expect.
Tickets are available from Rodgerson (742-5211) or from any other Yarmouth Lions Club member.
The dinner will include door prizes and musical entertainment.