Mountain Valley Hospice seeks to ‘burn the mortgage’

GLOVERSVILLE — Mountain Valley Hospice over the past year has pursued a fundraising campaign to “burn the mortgage” of the Nancy Dowd Hospice Home. The not-for-profit agency is seeking the public’s support to pay off the debt through donations collected now through Sept. 25 that will be matched up to a total of $25,000 offered by an anonymous donor.

“The Mountain Valley Hospice Foundation Board of Directors initiated a fundraising campaign with a target of $300,000 to pay off the mortgage,” MVH President and CEO Kara Travis said Tuesday. “In mid-August an anonymous donor came forward, a local family offered a $25,000 matching gift if we can raise that amount of money.”

“We’re about halfway toward the goal, if not a little more, and that was before the family raised the challenge,” Travis added. “We planned that the campaign would take through December, with this exciting, unexpected gift we’re hoping it motivates people that were thinking about giving, but hadn’t made a final decision.”

The Nancy Dowd Hospice Home, located at 108 Steele Ave., was opened in 2005 in part through a fundraising campaign. The home-styled facility constructed with Adirondack details features eight private beds available to anyone eligible for 24 hour hospice care.

“It’s really a gem. It’s quite special and unique,” Travis said, noting that the Nancy Dowd Hospice Home is one of just 12 facilities across the state providing 24-hour hospice care on-site.

“Sometimes people see the beautiful building and think we’re a for profit. They don’t realize that we’re a not-for-profit and rely heavily on private donations to sustain the work we do for the community,” she continued. “People think we are easily able to make money. It’s a challenging industry and it’s an important service we provide. In order to do that we need support from the community.”

In addition to providing patients palliative and end of life care, Travis said the hospice home provides various therapy programs, respite care to assist caregivers in need of time to rest, relax or run errands and grief counseling free of charge for patients, their families and anyone in the community who has experienced a loss whether or not the individual was treated by MVH.

“For all of the programs we provide that aren’t funded, we have to come up with ways to support them apart from what we do everyday,” Travis said. “Freeing up cash flow to support programs like that is invaluable in my mind.”

Aside from allowing MVH to reallocate funds previously assigned to mortgage payments to programs and services, Travis said through a successful “burn the mortgage” campaign, the agency could establish a building maintenance savings fund.

“To invest in the maintenance of the beautiful building, keeping it pristine and cutting edge for years to come,” Travis said.

Travis noted that the anonymous donor helping to spur the campaign towards the finish line stipulated that in order for the agency to receive the matching donation funds all members of both the MVH Board of Directors and the MVH Foundation Board would need to participate in the fundraising.

“They asked we be able to show 100 percent of the board donated towards campaigning and we can now say that’s the case,” Travis said. “It shows that our governing body fully supports the campaign, that they are 100 percent behind this important fundraising campaign.”

With just under three weeks to take in donations that will be matched before the deadline set by the anonymous donor, Travis extended her thanks to anyone who has or who will make a donation to the “burn the mortgage” campaign.

“I’m proud to be a part of the campaign. I think it is very representative of the staff, nurses and caregivers that care for our patients each and every day, it’s really about them and Nancy Dowd’s legacy as our founder,” Travis said. “I’m confident we will meet the goal and I’m excited.”

“There was an incredible outpouring of support when the building was built and I feel this ‘burn the mortgage’ campaign shows the importance the community places on Mountain Valley Hospice. They built the building and this is the community reiterating how important it is,” she added.

Donations towards Mountain Valley Hospice’s “burn the mortgage” campaign for the Nancy Dowd Hospice Home received by Sept. 25 will be matched up to a total of $25,000. Donations by check can be sent to Mountain Valley Hospice at 108 Steele Ave., Gloversville, New York 12078.

Donations can also be dropped off at the Nancy Dowd Hospice Home at 108 Steele Ave. or can be made online at

By Patricia Older

Leave a Reply