Janie Lackman is a Dedicated Friend

 

By Wendy Pollitzer

Featured in The Island News

Apr. 15, 2010

Janie Lackman

Janie Lackman is a true friend. But, while most of us use this term to describe a relationship between two people bonded by camaraderie, I use the term to illustrate Janie’s commitment to an organization dedicated to providing hope and encouragement.

Lackman, Development Director for the Friends of CarolineHospice in charge of Marketing and Fundraising became interested in the concept of hospice following the deaths of her great aunt and her father’s parents.  When she moved to Beaufort, she knew she wanted to work in some capacity with a similar organization that helped her family.

She volunteered in pet therapy with Friends of Caroline, a United Way organization 11 years ago when her Bassett Hound, Elvis was just a pup.  When asked the motivation behind pet therapy, Janie responded, “It brings smiles to people’s faces and creates a diversion from the day-to-day. I know if I were in the hospital, I’d miss my dog terribly. For anyone who has a connection with dogs, this helps them a lot!”

The program reaches patients at Beaufort Memorial, Coastal Carolina Hospital, Alzheimer’s Family Services, assisted living centers and other care groups. Lackman still volunteers with pet therapy in addition to her role Development Director.

And what a job she has! Friends of Caroline Hospice is the only hospice in Beaufort that is 100% non-profit. Every dollar they raise goes directly to funding patient care, supplies, medication and equipment as well as operating costs. The organization is also 100% dependant on donations, meaning Friends does not accept money from patients, their families, insurance companies or Medicaid/Medicare.

So Janie must work very hard to raise significant funds. She is in charge of four major fundraisers per year: the popular Festival of Trees; Cheeseburgers in Paradise (inspired by a former patient who was a Parrothead); Bands, Brews and Barbeques (a South Carolina BBQ Sanctioned competition to be held on Labor Day weekend) and the upcoming Spring Fling Fashion Show. Descriptions of each of these events can be found at www.friendsofcarolinehospice.org.

The Spring Fling Fashion Show will be held on April 21st from 11:30-1:30 in the Tabby Garden at the Beaufort Inn.  The elegant luncheon will be catered by Southern Graces, and the show will feature fashions from local merchants.  Designs from local designer, Caroline Hincher Baker will also be showcased. In addition, the event will include a creative narration by Natalie Daise (with a surprise twist).

Events like these are crucial to the success of the organization. “We are fortunate to have so much help from the community,” says Lackman.  Friends of Caroline Hospice has over 800 volunteers, but they always need more.  Volunteers are needed for many tasks, from patient care to office support to event assistance.

In addition to caring for terminally-ill patients, their families and caregivers, Friends ofCaroline Hospice also offers, free of charge, many support programs. They include Lunch, Laughter and Tears (bereavement support for adults), a Child Bereavement Program, Bereavement of an Adult Child, Grieving the Loss of a Child, Stepping Ahead, Caregiver Support and Cancer Support Groups.

So again, it’s ultimately up to Lackman and the generous donations from the community to fund these important programs as well as the Friends’ comprehensive approach to caring.

The Island News is pleased to announce that Janie Lackman will be writing a column on a monthly basis about issues pertaining to elder care, end of life, coping as a caregiver and bereavement care options.  Her first column will appear on April 29th.

For anyone who has met Janie, you know she is dedicated to three things: her work, her dogs (Elvis and Harvey) and the Turtles!

Janie is the Project Leader for the Fripp Island Turtle Program. Though her team consists of close to 40 Loggerhead Sea Turtle volunteers, Lackman is on the beach most every day looking for nests from May through August and conducting inventories until October.

Since Loggerheads are also a passion of mine, I’ll be sure to include information about area programs, nest counts, etc. in the coming months. So I’m happy to say I’ll be working with Janie again!

Janie Lackman obviously cares about life, and she is proactively fulfilling her purpose. Via her career or personal hobbies, Janie makes every attempt to educate people about the things for which she cares deeply.

If you’re at all interested in volunteering with Friends of Caroline Hospice in any capacity, you may call 525-6257 or email: info@friendsofcarolinehospice.org.

Tickets are still on sale for the Spring Fling Fashion Show to benefit Friends ofCaroline. Cost is $50 per person. To reserve yours, call 525-6257 today!

Thank you Janie for everything you do for our community! It’s folks like you, behind the scenes, who really make a difference in Beaufort. And, on a personal note, I’m glad to call you my new friend.

About Wendy

Wendy Pollitzer is a versatile writer living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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