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Moving tribute celebrates hospice care

Mon, Oct 19th 2015 11:00 am
Sue and Paul Wendt unveiled the newest Wendt's Propane & Oil Truck that has been custom designed to also serve as a Niagara Hospice billboard on wheels.
Sue and Paul Wendt unveiled the newest Wendt's Propane & Oil Truck that has been custom designed to also serve as a Niagara Hospice billboard on wheels.
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Sanborn, NY - Wendt's Propane & Oil has many reasons to support Niagara Hospice and Paul and Susan Wendt have found a moving way to show their appreciation to the agency that has provided care to many of their friends and family. At tonight's 25th anniversary of Niagara Hospice's longest-running fundraiser, Cocktails & CA$H, Paul and Susan unveiled the company's newest propane truck that also serves as a traveling tribute to the care they and their loved ones have received from Niagara Hospice over the years.

Paul Wendt said, "A year ago this past April my wife, Susan and I were in Atlanta at a trade show for the propane industry. She looked around at other customized trucks and said, 'Ya know, God has blessed us. How can we build a truck that stands for what we believe in and show what He has done for us in our lives?' Hospice came to both our minds immediately for what they had done for us, our family, and everyone around us."

In that moment, a plan was hatched to create a rolling billboard as a tribute. The new truck is detailed in Niagara Hospice colors of teal and yellow with A better way to live...the Niagara Hospice difference written on the side along with the Niagara Hospice logo, phone number and a trail of yellow butterflies. Niagara Hospice director of marketing and public relations, Tricia Degan explained the butterfly is known as the universal symbol of transformation and the life cycle, as well as a symbol of hope - making them the perfect way to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones.

The Wendt's Propane & Oil truck also has the names of friends and family they are remembering for how they have touched their hearts. Those being remembered are Kenneth Wendt, Dianne Wendt, Robert Bushover, Nova Wasik, Quintin Printup, John Becker, Marie Becker, Rodney Willis, and Yvonne Brenner.

Wendt explained that Wendt's Propane and Oil has the same philosophy as Hospice, saying, "No matter if Hospice is delivering supplies or making cookies for a family, or if Wendt's Propane & Oil is filling a barbecue tank, we as a company believe in family. And with our own experience with Niagara Hospice, our philosophies are parallel."

Attendees at the 25th anniversary of Niagara Hospice's Cocktails & CA$H were the first to see the tribute that will soon be seen on the roads throughout Western New York. Degan said, "We are truly moved that the Wendt family chose to honor Niagara Hospice in such a unique way. With their help, more people will see that hospice really is about living to the fullest regardless of what stage of life we are in - that's how Hospice can help."

Degan encourages families to learn about hospice before serious illness hits, stating that Niagara Hospice Speakers Bureau volunteers and staff are available to provide education programs out in the community. The programs aim to dispel the many myths of hospice care and educate on how calling hospice sooner in the disease process can often provide families with more quality time together. Anyone interested in booking a presentation can call 280-0742 or visit the Resources/Community tabs at www.niagarahospice.org.

Wendt says: "We pray that this rolling Niagara Hospice billboard will help raise awareness of what Hospice stands for which is: A better way to live, the Niagara Hospice difference."

Niagara Hospice has provided end-of-life comfort, care and support since 1988 to over 25,000 Niagara County individuals and families faced with terminal illness. No one is ever denied hospice care due to inability to pay. For more information, visit NiagaraHospice.org or call 716-HOSPICE.

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