Photo, from left to right: Rich Dutka; Terry Opheim; Maeve O’Byrne, Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation; Dr. Robin Love, Palliative Care Unit.
Ron Opheim treasured his friendships and by the outpouring of goodwill and respect demonstrated at the Ron Opheim Memorial Golf Tournament in late September, his friends felt the same. Tournament co-organizer, Rich Dutka, knew that a round of golf for a good cause would be a perfect tribute to his lifelong friend. Ron passed away in the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) Palliative Care Unit on June 15th, 2011.
During his stay, he took great comfort in the courtyard gardens that his room overlooked. His widow, Terry Opheim said Ron “loved his own gardens and it felt like he was at home.” In addition, she praised “the doctors and nurses in Palliative Care as they treated Ronnie like he was a family member. They are truly angels.” The family was motivated to help provide other families with the same sense of peace by supporting the Palliative garden. As a result, they hosted the Ron Opheim Golf Tournament at Morningstar Golf Course in Parksville; with the help of 65 golfers and 120 dinner guests the group raised more than $12,295.
Dutka would like to thank supporters and golfers for helping raise such an incredible donation, namely “Black Press, Cornerstone Tile, Mark’s Work Warehouse, Phillip Landick, Quality Foods, Safeway, Sears, Walmart, Cody Dreger & Dustin Layzell, Ladysmith Press Employees, Larry Adair, Wall Pepper Graphics, Joe Cunningham Ford, and Senini Graphics.” Maeve O’Byrne, President of the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation, said “the Foundation gratefully recognizes this donation as a gift from the heart. Not only will it benefit the garden, but it shows appreciation to an incredible group of people who work in the Palliative Unit every day supporting families through a very difficult time.”