• Mireille Lemelin

Diamond Divas shine at Hudson NOVA Gala

PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Chanteuse Kim Richardson entertained the crowd at the Hudson NOVA Gala

NOVA Hudson is one of the most charismatic non-profit charitable organizations in our region, providing free nursing care for needy elderly patients, especially for those suffering acute or chronic pain, advanced treatments for cancer, as well as Alzheimer's or dementia. These devoted and highly skilled nurses and caregivers help maintain the independence of patients living at home for as long as they are able.

Under the team's supervision, a new remarkable initiative, the Adult Care Centre, was launched last year at St. Mary's Church Hall. Once a week, up to 12 volunteers organize craft and painting sessions, exercises, and even bingo for the patients, enabling caregivers to recharge their batteries.

All this care to improve patients’ healing and comfort are provided free of charge and without any federal or provincial government funding. NOVA Hudson functions only by donations, bequests, the revenue of its NOVA Boutique administered by 30 volunteers, and fundraising events.

The latest of which was staged last Saturday, April 29, at the beautiful Auberge des Gallant in Sainte-Marthe. A glam, glittering affair aptly titled Diamond Reflections Diamant, for the 60th anniversary of the organization. That evening, which raised $60,000 and counting, welcomed attendees splendidly clad in gorgeous shimmering ball gowns. Here are six of these Diamond Divas.

BRENDA LAPIERRE

One of four dedicated nurses, Brenda was stunning in a long veil ivory dress, sparkled with thousands of glittering spangles. “I feel it’s a privilege to work for this wonderful community here in Hudson. I want to be the voice of the people who fall through the cracks,” she says. She certainly helps to raise the standard of caregivers, along with her co-workers including executive director Judy Tellier, and nurses Betty Swennen, and Wanda McElheron.

LIZ SNOW

Liz totally endorses the cause, having dealt with many family members and friends’ illnesses in recent years. “We are so lucky to have this kind of service here. I am not sure this exists anywhere else. It is a real blessing for our community,” said Liz who was radiating that night in a silvery spandex beaded gown designed by Xscape.

KATHY CONWAY

“I am sort of a computer geek here, acting as an office volunteer for quite a while,” Kathy says with a big smile. But now she’s on the board of directors of NOVA Hudson and served as chairperson for this glorious gala. That night, splendidly wrapped in a long black silk gown with glittering beaded bodice by Cameron Blake, her mission was proudly accomplished.

WANDA BRAY

Tireless volunteer for numerous charitable causes, Wanda has provided her services at NOVA Hudson for more than 20 years. She is now on the board of directors and the driving force behind this new Adult Care Centre where families bring their loved ones every Wednesday in a stimulating environment. Every Thursday she also volunteers at NOVA Boutique. And of course, as with all the causes she endorses, she also provided the superb white rose centrepieces at every table, being the wife of famous Planterra greenhouses owner Alistair Smith.

INGA LAWSON

Inga, a volunteer Wednesday and Sunday afternoons at NOVA Boutique, found her splendid attire – no surprise – at NOVA. She was wearing her black chiffon dress with panache and pizazz along with an adorable golden clutch and shoes found at the same treasure trove. The shawl was a Christmas gift from her handsome hubby John Lawson. “All the clothes and accessories are donations from our community, sometimes not even worn once, and perfectly cleaned,” she said, “At the beginning of a new season the boutique is overflowing with new discoveries.”

GAIL MURRAY

It was the first fundraising gala for Gail and feeling the special energy emanating from the crowd, it will certainly not be her last. One of the first volunteers to join the team at the new Adult Care Centre last year, she supervises the craft work and the exercises of the elderly. That night, she was wearing a long black crepe skirt with a gleaming gold blue and saffron evening twin set.

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