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Crossroads Hospice Gift of the Day helps local meet Blake Shelton

By Faith Bemiss
The Sedalia Democrat

A Sedalia woman was granted a wish to kiss country music star Blake Shelton recently through the Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care program Gift of the Day.

Elda Dotson, who is terminally ill, has been a fan of Shelton for years.

“She actually watches ‘The Voice,’ and the only reason she watches ‘The Voice,’ is because of Blake Shelton,” Crossroads Hospice Gift of the Day Coordinator Tracy Bunch said by phone Tuesday morning. “She loves Blake Shelton, she’s a huge Blake Shelton fan.”

According to a Crossroads media release, Bunch found out Shelton wasn’t coming to the Kansas City area so she had to turn to plan B to make the wish happen for Dotson. They decided to travel to Omaha, Nebraska, for a Shelton concert March 18. Because of the distance, Harrah’s Council Bluffs Hotel and Casino donated hotel rooms so Dotson could stay all night.

“It was very hard for me to get through to the Blake Shelton (concert line-up) as far as meet-and-greets and stuff,” Bunch said. “So I made this sign, hoping that he would see it.”

Once they arrived at the concert Dotson held up a large sign that read “It’s my 70th Birthday I wish for a kiss from Blake Shelton.”

“I told her ‘I can’t guarantee that he’ll get a chance to see you,’” Bunch added. “She wanted to meet him so bad … we made the sign and I asked them if we could move up to the front row, so he could see it. We got moved up to the front row and then that’s when he came down and she pulled him down and gave him a kiss.”

Bunch said every patient who is in the hospice program receives a Gift of the Day opportunity.

“It’s in our care plan, everybody gets a Gift of the Day,” she added. “We do from hot air balloon rides, to train rides, to dinners.”

Bunch, who works out of offices in Independence, Gladstone and Warrensburg, said she feels privileged to bring happiness to others through the hospice program.

“What I do is a total rewarding job, it’s a blessing and rewarding,” she noted. “Just giving them a smile, the smiles we get when they get to meet that celebrity.”

Although the patients are very sick, Bunch said she can see a change in their demeanor as they approach the gift day.

“That day they are different,” she noted. “We’ve had several who may not feel good and may not be very chipper, you know, prior to the Gift of the Day, but that day they’re happy … sometimes they hold on for that Gift of the Day as well. I had one going to see Chris Stapleton next month on April 26 and … she said ‘I’m going to make it no matter what.’ So, they really look forward to it and they hold on for that.”

For more information about Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care and the Gift of a Day program, call 816-333-9200 or visit www.crossroadshospice.com or Facebook at Crossroads Hospice.

Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or on Twitter @flbemiss.