Yee-Haw!! Rock ‘N Rodeo lassos 20 years of supporting TMC Hospice

Rock 'N Rodeo TMC Hospice 4The TMC Foundation is celebrating 20 years of hosting the western-themed Rock ‘N Rodeo event to support TMC Hospice.

There are many generous donors and passionate advocates to thank, including HSL Properties, and Desert Diamond Casinos.

TMC is exceptionally grateful for the outstanding participation of Brent Berge and his team at Desert Toyota of Tucson, who has been the title sponsor of every Rock ‘N Rodeo event over its two decades.

Rock 'N Rodeo TMC Hospice 2“Their extraordinary contributions of time, resources and sponsorships continue to make a meaningful difference for TMC Hospice patients and their families,” said Michael Duran, TMC vice president and chief development officer.

Every Rock ‘N Rodeo event has been a lively, boot-scootin’ stampede of dancing, raffles, casino and cowboy games.

Whether it’s a chance to dust off those cowboy boots, learning how to toss a real lasso, two-steppin’ to live music or the satisfaction of winning with a royal flush – event-goers take great pride in knowing proceeds go to TMC Hospice, to support a wide range of programming.

peppi10Children with life-limiting or terminal conditions and their families have special needs, and the invaluable support from Rock ‘N Rodeo means TMC Children’s Hospice can offer specialized palliative and supportive care that provides joy and comfort.

Funds support soothing complementary therapies for adults, and also fund the We Honor Veterans and Hospice Veterans Partnership programs – helping TMC Hospice better care for, reach out to and honor veterans needing end-of-life care.

“We care very deeply for the patients and families – our focus is providing care and services assured to make a positive difference in a patient’s comfort and quality of life,” said Alicia Ferguson, director of TMC Hospice and Palliative Care.

Rock 'N Rodeo TMC Hospice 1This year, the event was hosted at The Last Territory of the Hilton El Conquistador on March 4. Attendees tapped their boot heels to the live music of the incredible Robert Moreno Band, and were careful not to get the savory barbecue on their favorite western-style garb.

A most sincere thanks to all who have participated, attended and donated throughout the years!

Would you like to make a difference for the adults, veterans, children and families enduring tremendous challenges?  Take a moment to learn about volunteering or providing a much needed and appreciated donation.

 

Hospital Week spotlight: Meet Greg Harris

Greg Harris underneath one of his signs at the 2014 Rock ‘N Rodeo event with his wife, Kathy (right), and director of TMC Volunteer Services Hope Thomas.

Greg Harris is TMC’s cabinet maker and special events carpenter. He was hired 28 years ago after running his own carpentry business for 10 years, including doing jobs for the hospital. Originally he built charting tables, off-the-wall units and other cabinetry pieces throughout the hospital.

Slowly, though, he started working on special events, coordinating logistics as well as the carpentry and stage work, including building sets and other props. His and his team’s handiwork is seen at the likes of Be Safe Saturday, the annual Baby Fair and Rock ‘N Rodeo. Now add to the list themed sets for the TMC Foundation’s annual Gala and Community Benefits’ various community runs.

When the Gala had a Hollywood theme, he had fun building a replica of the iconic Hollywood sign as well as a façade for Ric’s Café from Casa Blanca.

Some of his projects have special meaning. This past year, he built a mesquite fish tank stand for the lobby of the Pediatric Emergency Department. The wood came from trees cut when TMC for Children was expanded. The trees were then milled and dried for two years, he said. “The fish tank is the first piece and the remaining wood is to be used only on furniture for pediatric areas.”

He’s touching the greater community, giving a positive, professional image of the hospital.

“He takes my vision and kicks it up a notch, always exceeding my wildest dreams,” said Hope Thomas, director of Volunteer Services & Community Programs.

“It all started with the TMC arch for Baby Fair in 2000. In my mind’s eye I was picturing a simple arch that bore the TMC logo,” she said. “What I got was a creative and artful masterpiece, right down to the stucco finish and southwest colors and accents. The commitment to every last detail defines his work.”

And it really is all about his interpretation of the vision, she said. “He always wants TMC to outshine every other exhibitor at an event.”

While he enjoys building the sets, he still has responsibilities for the hospital, and that presents some of the challenges of his job – juggling responsibilities with a host of departments, including the Foundation, Community Outreach, Community Benefit and Plant Services.

But that’s nothing compared with the fact that he enjoys what he does.

“There are a lot of fun people around here,” he said, and one in particular. “I met my wife 22 years ago, and we’ve been married 20!”

Rock ‘N Rodeo wrangles up $179,000 for TMC Hospice


Folks decked out in jeans and cowboy boots enjoyed line-dancing, a silent auction and casino tables to help rake in $179,000 for TMC Hospice programs at the Desert Toyota of Tucson Rock ‘N Rodeo. The 16th annual event was held at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa.

The proceeds will support emergency funds to cover services to families in need and complementary therapies often not covered by insurance that improve the quality of life for those facing long term medical needs. “Events like Rock ‘N Rodeo allow us to continue to offer our patients massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy and aromatherapy. We want to do everything we can to make patients comfortable,” said Mary Steele, TMC Hospice Director.

The event is always highly anticipated among people who attend year after year, and new faces who have heard it is impossible not to have fun.

“People who come to Rock ‘N Rodeo always say that the evening is the most fun they’ve had in a long time. It’s no doubt a fun party, but the atmosphere is relaxed, so people can really just let loose and have a good time in casual western wear. There’s the fabulous food and beautiful decorations you’d expect, but it’s a little different because you can wear jeans and cowboy boots,” said Steele.

This year’s event honored Brent Berge and Jerry Cannella from Desert Toyota, the company that has sponsored Rock ‘N Rodeo for the past 16 years. TMC Hospice is a priceless part of the Tucson community and Berge and Cannella have truly had an impact on it.

Thank you to all who attended!

Fundraising for a cause: TMC Hospice Complementary Therapies

The 16th annual Desert Toyota of Tucson Rock ‘N Rodeo took place on Saturday, March 16, at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa.  More than 550 people dressed down – wearing jeans and cowboy boots – to eat, drink, line dance, gamble and bid on fabulous silent auction items.

Proceeds from the event support emergency funds to cover services to families in need and complementary therapies – things like massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy and aromatherapy.  These services are often not covered by insurance, but improve the quality of life for those facing long term medical needs.

“They can soothe and distract a patient, which can help take them away from their pain and suffering  – even if it’s only for a few minutes.  We want to do everything we can to make them comfortable, and create a loving environment during their time here,” said Mary Steele, TMC Hospice Director.

The total amount raised at this year’s Rock ‘N Rodeo will be released next week.  A special thank you to those who attended, and those who support TMC Hospice throughout the year.

We tip our hats to Rock ‘N Rodeo honorees Brent Berge and Jerry Cannella

RNR logoThe 16th annual Rock ‘N Rodeo on Saturday night will honor two men whose support has been both steadfast and absolutely critical to the success of the event year after year.

Brent Berge & Jerry Cannella

Brent Berge & Jerry Cannella

Brent Berge and Jerry Cannella have truly set the bar among businesses in Tucson with their commitment and dedication to TMC.  “For a local business to consistently step up as a significant source of support for 16 years is truly remarkable,” said Michael Duran, vice president and Chief Development Officer, TMC Foundation.

Hospice volunteer and former Rock ‘N Rodeo co-chair Lynne McGregor walked into Desert Toyota in 1996 to ask for their sponsorship.  “Her warmth and sincerity was something we couldn’t refuse,” said Cannella.  “After spending time with Lynne we felt like the cause was more than worthy of our support.”

As the title sponsor of Rock ‘N Rodeo, Desert Toyota has provided the financial means to help TMC Hospice continue to grow as a valuable program and support system for families in Southern Arizona.  Over the years, Desert Toyota’s contributions have supported the construction of Peppi’s House, the 16-bed in-patient home for TMC Hospice, along with complementary therapies and a special emergency fund to cover services for families in need.

The annual Rock ‘N Rodeo has become a tradition for the Desert Toyota team.  “The employees feel privileged to be part of the whole thing,” said Cannella.  “They realize how much hospice does for people.”

Berge and Cannella’s commitment to hospice goes beyond their sponsorship role and touches on a more personal side.  Cannella had a family member and a good friend who experienced hospice care, and Berge has had several employees’ loved ones as patients in hospice care as well.

“The Desert Toyota team is honored to contribute to such a special community service,” said Berge.  “The entire hospice team is made up of incredibly wonderful people from the upper leadership to the nursing staff, social workers and patient care techs.”

TMC Hospice has become part of the Desert Toyota family, and Berge and Cannella are part of the TMC family.  Their support and dedication to our community is honorable as they continue to leave their mark on TMC Hospice.

Saddle up for the 16th annual Rock ‘N Rodeo: March 16

Squeeze into your tightest wranglers, and dust off your cowboy boots! 

Excitement is building for the 16th annual Desert Toyota of Tucson Rock ‘N Rodeo on Saturday, March 16, at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa.  “People who come to Rock ‘N Rodeo always say that the evening is the most fun they’ve had in a long time.  It’s no doubt a fun party, but the atmosphere is relaxed, so people can really just let loose and have a good time in casual western wear.  There’s the fabulous food and beautiful decorations you’d expect, but it’s a little different because you can wear jeans and cowboy boots,” said Mary Steele, TMC Hospice Director.

Forget sitting at a table most of the night.  There’s a silent auction, casino tables, and even line dancing to get you moving.

RNR CommitteeThis year’s event will honor Brent Berge and Jerry Cannella from Desert Toyota, the company that has sponsored Rock ‘N Rodeo for the past 16 years.  TMC Hospice is a priceless part of the Tucson community and Berge and Cannella have truly had an impact on it.

Proceeds support emergency funds to cover services to families in need and complementary therapies often not covered by insurance that improve the quality of life for those facing long term medical needs.  “Events like Rock ‘N Rodeo allow us to continue to offer our patients massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy and aromatherapy.  We want to do everything we can to make patients comfortable,” said Steele. 

That kindness is also extended to the families.  Steele said, “When a patient passes away, we light a candle while the family is waiting for the mortuary or doctor.  It’s a way for them to focus their vision, and help ground them.”

The Desert Toyota of Tucson Rock ‘N Rodeo has become a highly-anticipated tradition in which memories are made.  “It’s always great to see familiar faces having a good time year after year,” said Steele.  An estimated 500 people are expected this year.  Tickets are still available.


Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461