The Raffle Ticket Queen

By: Kate McNamara, Angela Hospice Volunteer

Gwen Fedrigo has been a volunteer at Angela Hospice for 28 years and has worked on “Light Up A Life” for all 27 years of the event’s existence. Gwen has been a part of and witnessed the steady and amazing growth of Angela Hospice from its early days and recalls how it initially operated out of a small room at Madonna University. She first learned about hospice when a friend’s husband was receiving hospice care at Providence Hospital thirty years ago. Eventually, Gwen came to learn about and volunteer at Angela Hospice.

Gwen is married to Alex and they have five children, twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Alex Fedrigo was President of the Livonia Italian American Club and one year they donated the proceeds from a fundraising fashion show to Angela Hospice. This gave Gwen experience in the art of fundraising and she has honed and perfected her skills in this area to Angela Hospice’s benefit ever since.

Gwen (second from left) at last year's Golf Outing.
Gwen’s work fundraising for “Light Up A Life” includes selling raffle tickets every Saturday from June through the weekend after Labor Day at various locations, including supermarkets, restaurants and at St. Colette Church where Gwen states that “they stand in line to buy our tickets.” Gwen notes that wherever they set up their tables, they quietly let people come to them and invariably they do. Gwen not only sells tickets but she recruits and schedules volunteers each of those Saturdays to work in shifts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gwen says, “It’s fun. People tell you their experiences, some cry, you give them a hug, you have to listen.” Gwen also sells raffle tickets every year at the event itself. She also secures items for the auction and finds sponsors to put their advertisements in the program.

Gwen is always looking for new volunteers to help her in this effort and she says she is very grateful for the wonderful, hard-working volunteers she already has, some who “have been with me for a long time.” She says that without fail, “if they do it, they like it.”

At age 86, Gwen exudes energy. She says “we just get so excited when we sell the raffle tickets.” Gwen understands very well how each and every ticket sold allows Angela Hospice to continue its ministry of care and compassion to its patients and their families.

When asked why she volunteers at Angela Hospice, Gwen responds simply. “You can’t do enough for the terminally ill and you feel good because you’re helping in a little way.”

As for why she and her husband faithfully contribute financially to Angela Hospice she says “Don’t you think everyone has a pet charity? Ours is Angela and when we are able to give, we give to them.”

Gwen wants anyone who is considering becoming a volunteer at Angela Hospice to know that if they “try it, they will be happy they did.” As she knows from long experience “you get more out of it than you give.”

Gwen’s enthusiasm is infectious as she shares her wish for more people to help her sell the “Light Up A Life” raffle tickets and to find auction items and sponsors. She knows the good that results for so many -- one ticket, one dollar at a time.

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