October 22, 2021

BY CHRIS HUSSEYCH_seedfundraiser2

When Jessie Lacayo and her group visited Innisfree House several months ago, they definitely didn’t expect the end-of-life-care facility to be so full of life.

“It might seem like a contradiction, but it’s a very lively place,” said Lacayo. “There’s a lot of laughter and I think I’d want to be there if I was in that position.”

Innisfree House is an expansion of Lisaard House in Cambridge, and the former opened its doors last year as part of a collaboration with Conestoga College. While Lisaard House has six beds, Innisfree has a much needed 10 beds available. At both facilities, they focus on providing palliative care in a comfortable and peaceful environment.

Lacayo, a second-year general business student, had the chance to lead and work with some of her classmates on a project for one of their courses. They were tasked with fundraising for Lisaard and Innisfree House, and after months of planning, they were able to host an event at the Kitchener Market on March 26.

“We worked really well together,” she said.

Patrick Hussey, also a second-year general business student and part of Lacayo’s team, handled the marketing and design part of the fundraiser. He said the impact the hospices have on this community are enormous.

“It’s celebrating the last part of your life in comfort … and it’s completely free of charge,” he said.

Because every group in the class was assigned the same organization to fundraise for, there was certainly some healthy competition between the groups. Lacayo’s and Hussey’s group was initially regarded as the underdogs, but Lacayo said that near the end of the project, their professor recognized the great work their group was doing.

Their strategy to raise money for these organizations was by selling seeds at the market in downtown Kitchener.

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