Pictured at the Pierce Bass & BBQ Fundraiser are, from left: David Keeney, Carol Keeney, Diane Pierce, Steve Pierce and Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director.

Hospice care was important to I.C. “Doc” Keeney, a longtime veterinarian in Texas County. His father received care when hospice was new to the area and before he passed away in May 2017, Keeney was on hospice for a brief time.

Now his children, Diane Pierce and David Keeney, and family are doing their part to honor Keeney’s legacy and dedication to Hospice of Care at Texas County Memorial Hospital.

“He got sick very quickly and we knew he was deteriorating fast,” Pierce said. “My dad was on hospice for a couple days, and I could see the benefit for people who need to be on hospice long term because they helped us tremendously in that short amount of time.”

Pierce said she and her family wanted to do something to show their support for the organization. What started as a cookout for friends and family quickly turned into an annual fundraising event for Hospice of Care after Keeney passed away.

In 2017, Pierce and her husband, Steve, hosted the Pierce Bass and Barbecue Fundraiser. The event was such a hit that they wanted to do it again this year. This year’s event was Sept. 15 at the Pierces’ house and included a meal, live music and great company.

“We’re hoping that it grows from year to year,” Pierce said.

This year’s event raised $2,600 for Hospice of Care –– about $1,000 more than last year.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of the Pierce and Keeney families,” TCMH chief executive officer Wes Murray, said. “This event is a great example of how individuals can help support their community in their own unique way.”

Pierce said it has been a learning curve because putting on an event is new to her and her family. Healthcare foundation director Jay Gentry also helped coordinate the event.

“Jay has been so good about trying to help us get it together this year, and coordinate more with the hospital,” Pierce said.

Plans for the third annual Pierce Bass and Barbecue Fundraiser are already in the making. The Pierce and Keeney families hope to include more people and raise even more money to benefit Hospice of Care. 

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