03/14/10 — Kitty Askins halfway to funding goal

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Kitty Askins halfway to funding goal

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 14, 2010 1:50 AM

The expansion project at Kitty Askins Hospice Center has surpassed the halfway point, raising $2.5 million on the $4 million project, with a fundraiser planned for next month featuring an array of musical talent.

Late last year, Kitty Askins received state approval to proceed with a plan to double its occupancy to 24 beds and add 13,000 square feet to the facility. The center, owned by 3HC, has since focused on raising money to pay for it.

"We're pretty excited (to) finally reach the $2.5 million mark," said Mary Beth Parrish, director of community development. "And that does not include the Mount Olive pledge.

"The community of Mount Olive has pledged to raise $100,000 for naming rights of the chapel to the facility."

In addition to more patient rooms and the chapel, the facility will feature a more homelike atmosphere, including natural lighting, an all-purpose room for volunteer activities and family gatherings and a family kitchen.

This past week,paving started in the parking lot and laying the foundation began -- projects which continue to be determined by the weather.

"We're 20 percent done with construction and the majority of that was donated," Ms. Parrish said. "We're very fortunate to be at that point with all the rain delays."

Six local businesses partnered to complete the site work for the SECU House -- Allen Grading Company, T.A. Loving, S.T. Wooten, Best Sand & Gravel Inc., Precision Plumbing and Barnhill Contracting.

The earliest target date for providing services would be December, Mr. Parrish said, and that's if the weather continues to cooperate. The opening date had originally been projected for October.

On April 10, there will be a concert to benefit the expansion project.

Emceed by Goldsboro native and NPR host Carl Kasell of NPR, it will be held at 8 p.m. at the Paramount. Tickets are a minimum donation of $20 and can be purchased at Family Shoe Store, Four Seasons Sports and Fremont Pharmacy, or by contacting April Brantham at 731-1387.

"Along the Way: A Homecoming" will also feature several musical talents, including Goldsboro native John Brown's Plowology. The Charles B. Aycock graduate, now based in Nashville, has arranged a musical evening ranging from Christian and country genres to Americana and blues.

On the program will be Keli Nicole Price, a 2007 Grammy award winner for best contemporary album and three-time nominee; Randall Bramblett, songwriter, vocalist and musician who has performed or recorded with such artists as Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers and Bonnie Raitt; and singer/songwriter Judson Spence, who traveled among the contemporary gospel circuits in the late '80s and has collaborated with such artists as Cher, Wynonna Judd and Trisha Yearwood.