Vet Just Can’t Stop Fighting For What He Believes In

Legion Branch #86 President, Bev Gallagher presents Veteran Cec Cowell with a cheque for Palliative Care in the Wetaskiwin Hospital.

 

 
“When my wife Dorothy passed away I realized the need for a palliative care room in the Wetaskiwin Hospital”, explained Cec Cowell a local WWII veteran. That was back in 2006 and the beginning of an aggressive fundraising campaign led by Cec to get Palliative Care rooms in the Wetaskiwin Hospital. “It took me 9 months to get it but I finally got a room and got the o.k. to use a room on the side of the smoking lounge. I started to campaign (to fund 2 rooms) and in 2 months collected $54,000 and they went ahead with the room. I said to Cheryl (Deckert, Manager, Wetaskiwin Hospital) before I went on a holiday to Germany. We only have one room and we need two, at least. When I returned home one of the nurses hollered at me, ‘oh, we got your other room.’ 
Palliative care facilities and programs are available to families who are managing the dying process of a loved one. Palliative care rooms are private and provide comfort during the last stages of one’s life by providing a setting where families can be together during the dying process 
Remembrance Day keeps on remembering
Each year on November 11th, the people of Wetaskiwin and District respectively file into the Wetaskiwin Drill Hall to honor and remember those men and women who by sea, by land, and in the air, laid down their lives so that we may live in peace. 
The annual Remembrance Day Ceremony in Wetaskiwin is planned and hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion Wetaskiwin Branch #86. Each year a collection is taken with the understanding that the money collected will be designated to a worthwhile cause in the community.
The Legion has a long history of supporting worthwhile causes in Wetaskiwin and region. This year the fortunate recipient of a cheque for $2,524.84 was accepted on behalf of the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation by a local veteran, Mr. Cec Cowell. Receipt of the cheque is just another step in the long journey of supporting palliative care in Wetaskiwin that began for Mr. Cowell in 2006. 
Although the Legion donation of $2,425.84 received by Cec has been designated to upgrade the Family Room, he is uncertain if his battle for a third Palliative Room is over. “I’ll be 88 years old in the spring. I don’t know if I’m finished fighting for another Palliative Care room but in the meantime we will have to settle for using these funds for upgrading the Family Room. But the funds will  definitely be used for palliative care.”  
Cec has received many praises for his efforts but we needed it for the community
“I’ve had many phone calls from people because they have used the room and said they really appreciated it and appreciate what I had done. That is fine but I didn’t do it for looking for recognition.  I didn’t do it for that.  You will see on the (donor recognition) wall I did it in memory of Dorothy. And that’s what it’s all about. We needed it for the community.” 
Roy Foster explains how the Legion chose the Wetaskiwin Hospital Foundation
“Each year, prior to the Memorial Service held at the Drill Hall on November 11, the Executive Committee of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 86, holds a normal scheduled meeting. One of the agenda items is to vote on which group or organization, preferably in the local area, is worthy for consideration to be presented the total amount of money that  is donated by the public during the "Offering" at the Drill Hall on Remembrance Day.
There are many organizations, who require financial assistance, to help keep their club, or organization financially sound. It is sometimes difficult to reach a decision, but always a local group, who benefit the surrounding area, and Wetaskiwin.
As we always choosen a different organization each year, we thought the Palliative Care Centre was an excellent choice for 2012.  The Palliative Care Centre Proposal is supported, and organized by a local veteran, Cecil Colwell, and he has contributed many hours of his time, as well as many others, to make this important facility at our local Hospital a success.”
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