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The prospect of hearing Three Dog Night belt out its classic hits from the late 1960s and early ’70s excited Sherry Tucker, who has seen many of the acts that have performed at the annual Hospice of South Central Indiana concert.
“That’s my era,” the 67-year-old hospice volunteer said.
It also was for many of the few thousand people in Columbus North High School’s Memorial Gym on Saturday night.
And for about 90 minutes, Three Dog Night helped them relive moments from their youth by performing a number of their 21 Billboard Top-40 hits.
Powerful guitar riffs and sweet vocal harmonies made people sway in their seats and prompted some people to stand and dance. Many others among a crowd that ranged from children to grandparents snapped pictures of the legendary band with their cellphones.
“We’re going to take you back to the 1970s,” said Cory Wells, one of the band’s lead singers and one of its founding members.
Hits “One Man Band,” “Black And White,” “Never Been To Spain” and “Shambala” were among the first songs to kick off the show and get everyone into the performance.
On Thursday, when Tucker helped bag cookies that would be sold at the concert to help raise money for Hospice of South Central Indiana, she said she and other hospice volunteers would be “back there boogeying” during the concert, as they sold the cookies at concession stands and tables.
While Tucker looked forward to having fun at the concert, it wasn’t her motivation for becoming a hospice volunteer. Her connection to the organization runs deeper.
One of her grandmothers and her parents received care from Hospice of South Central Indiana, a nonprofit organization that provides support and care for people in the last stages of an advanced illness, to help them live as fully and comfortably as possible. The organization serves 15 counties and has offices in Columbus, North Vernon and Greensburg.
The death of Tucker’s grandmother in the late 1980s sparked her interest in helping with the organization. She was impressed with the at-home care her grandmother received.
“They were all so good to her. I thought this is something I want to do,” Tucker said.
She saw hospice care in action again when her mother and father died three days apart over a Labor Day weekend 11 years ago.
Tucker began volunteering shortly before she retired from Cummins Inc. in 1995. Since then, she’s performed about every volunteer job. Tucker has volunteered for the bereavement program, which provides support for caregivers for 13 months after their loved ones dies. She’s done pickups and deliveries. Tucker has even helped with laundry and fundraising.
Most recently, she’s been meeting with patients and their family members on a weekly basis. She provides support, comfort and friendship. Sometimes she sits with the patient to allow family members to run errands.
“She has a magnificent personality,” said Marcia Bundura, manager of volunteer services for Hospice of South Central Indiana.
Thursday, Tucker was in charge of the bagging and boxing of about 1,200 bags of cookies that were sold at the concert.
Although it made for a long day, Tucker enjoys her hospice work because she views it as helping her fellow man.
“I wouldn’t call myself a really religious person. ... I do believe in God. It’s just something He would approve of,” she said.
Dan Bazley’s desire to help others through hospice work also stems from a personal connection to the organization.
His wife received hospice care for six months before dying five years ago.
Bazley, 73, never thought much about volunteering until he saw how well his wife was treated during the last stage of her life.
The volunteer who spent time daily with his wife was Carolyn Curry, a 27-year hospice volunteer and The Republic’s Woman of the Year in 2007. Curry died Aug. 14, spending her last days at Hospice of South Central Indiana’s inpatient facility.
Bazley remembered Curry attending to his well being, too, by making spaghetti for him. He reciprocated by making Swedish meatballs for her.
Bazley has been a volunteer for about five years, doing a variety of jobs. He helped create a spreadsheet program to help the gift shop accurately track its inventory. He’s also filled envelopes and made deliveries and pickups.
He said he’s “just helping.” He helped deliver concert booklets to sponsors on Thursday.
“I’ve lived in Columbus since ‘f’80. This is my way of giving something back to the community. Hospice has a real need for (volunteers),” Bazley said.
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