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Emmanuel Hospice Hosts Annual Celebration to Benefit Quality End-of-Life Care

Emmanuel Hospice invites the West Michigan community to its Annual Celebration on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Held over lunch with a silent auction from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Thousand Oaks Golf Club, the celebration will benefit the organization’s top missions: to provide life-giving opportunities and ensure patients’ final days are lived fully, as well as supporting families of loved ones experiencing hospice care.

This year’s celebration will feature speaker Michelle Lasota, who starred in the “The Nurse with the Purple Hair,” directed by world-renowned filmmaker Sean Cunningham. The documentary features the level three hospice nurse’s work in end-of-life care, which Lasota will discuss at the luncheon.

“Our care begins with the question, ‘How do you want to live?’” said Sara Lowe, executive director of Emmanuel Hospice. “We encourage end-of-life care conversations at Emmanuel because we believe an individual’s last moments on earth are among the most important and deserve the same attention.”

“This annual event allows us to celebrate our work with the community of families, caregivers, volunteers and others who partner with us to ensure every last moment is cherished, valued and lived with integrity.”

Emmanuel Hospice’s care targets the mind, soul and body, enhancing the time a patient has left in this world. Its holistic care model ensures patients and families are comfortable, offering counseling and other complementary services, such as massage and music therapies, essential oils, acupuncture and acupressure. The end-of-life care provider has also recently invested in virtual reality technology, allowing patients to explore the world comfortably from wherever they are.

Lasota was working as a surgical nurse at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles when her father died unexpectedly in 2004. She switched to hospice nursing at that time, noting it was a “personal healing journey” for her, with “everything that I didn’t get to do for my dad I was now doing for all these people.”

She now works as a hospice nurse in Central Philadelphia, where she is a preceptor to nursing students. She has won numerous awards for the care she provides, including the UPHS Nursing Excellence Award.

Her story is told by Cunningham, the independent filmmaker best known for “Friday the 13th,” which spawned one of the most successful horror film franchises in cinema history. When the two met in Toronto, Cunningham was fascinated by her focus on “real death,” which led to the documentary. Learn more about the film here.

Since opening its doors, Emmanuel Hospice has grown to care for more than 110 families a day in West Michigan. Last year, the organization cared for more than 455 patients and an estimated 1,365 caregivers who supported them on their end-of-life journeys.

Tickets for the luncheon are $50 per person and $400 per table of eight. They can be purchased over the phone at 616.719.0919 or on the event webpage at

About Emmanuel Hospice

Emmanuel Hospice is a faith-based nonprofit provider of compassionate, person-centered hospice care to patients and families in West Michigan. Serving the community since 2013, the organization is a collaborative effort of St. Ann’s, Clark, Porter Hills and Sunset designed to complete the continuum by providing end-of-life care to those inside – and outside – the walls of these organizations. For more information, visit