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Hospice Bridge Tournament and organizer recognized with the Big Heart Award


April 10, 2019 (Sonora, CA) – In 1985, a group of Sonora bridge players started a tournament to raise funds in support of hospice patients and 34 years later, the tournament is going strong. In 2007, Sandy Miller took on the responsibility of organizing the annual tournament, which to date has raised more than $97,000 for Adventist Health Sonora Hospice and Hospice of Amador and Calaveras.

This year Adventist Health Sonora is recognizing Miller, and the Hospice Bridge Tournament group, with the Big Heart Award for their tremendous contributions to our communities’ hospice agencies.

Miller has a very personal experience with Adventist Health Sonora Hospice. Miller’s husband acquired a terminal illness in the army and received treatment from Veterans Affairs for several years. As his illness progressed, Hospice began providing services to keep him comfortable at home and provide support to his family. “Hospice was wonderful,” Miller explains. “You really can’t say enough good things.”

Miller has contributed to our community in many ways, in addition to organizing the annual Hospice Bridge Tournament. As a member of the California Eastern Star, Miller has helped make “port pals” for cancer patients, sew pillows for hospice patients and long-term care residents, knit blankets for dialysis patients, and create tote bags for people with wheel chairs.

“Hospice provides essential services for patients who are no longer receiving curative treatment, but more importantly they offer love, care and support so that families can make the most of the time they have together,” Adventist Health Sonora President, Michelle Fuentes says. “Having the support of Sandy Miller and the Hospice Bridge Tournament group means so much to everyone at Hospice and especially to our patients who directly benefit with assistance for necessities such as transportation, in-home care and medications.”

To participate in the annual Hospice Bridge Tournament, bridge players in foothill communities from Angels Camp to Camp Connell and from Sonora to Mokelumne Hill, as well as a few valley residents from Stockton and Tracy, play once each month from May through September. The tournament currently has 72 members with units in Sonora, San Andreas, Arnold and beyond. Miller collects their score sheets to determine the winners in October. First place winners receive $50, second place wins $35 and third wins $15.

The rest of the proceeds from the tournament are prorated between Adventist Health Sonora Hospice and Hospice of Amador and Calaveras, depending on the location of the participants. Hospice agencies are able to use the funds to provide services, particularly those not covered by insurance, regardless of a person’s ability to pay.

New participants are welcomed to join the 34th annual Hospice Bridge Tournament which begins in May. For more information and to register, call Sandy Miller at 209-743-5473.

The Big Heart Award will be presented at Adventist Health Sonora’s annual Heart of Hospice event to be held Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 5 p.m. at Indigeny Reserve in Sonora. The fun, western-themed evening includes dinner prepared by local caterers Sierra Smoke BBQ, live country music by Fiddles, Etc..., and a live auction. Western attire is highly encouraged. All proceeds from the event will benefit Adventist Health Sonora Hospice. Information about the event may be obtained by calling (209) 536-5022. Tickets are available by visiting


About Adventist Health Sonora

Adventist Health Sonora is a not-for-profit 152-bed health care facility including 72 acute beds, 12 swing beds, 68 skilled nursing beds and a large network of clinics, owned and operated by Adventist Health in Roseville, California. In addition to emergency and acute care services, other Adventist Health Sonora services include advanced cardiac care, cancer center, diagnostic imaging, home health, hospice, intensive care, obstetrics, rural health, surgical services, wellness center, wound care and hyperbaric oxygen, and over 20 primary care, urgent care and specialty clinics. The Medical Center provided care for 156,455 outpatient visits, 88,427 diagnostic imaging tests, 29,282 home care visits, 30,380 emergency department visits, and 4,433 hospital discharges in 2016. Staffed by over 180 physicians, 1,493 employees, and 121 volunteers, Adventist Health Sonora is the largest private employer in Tuolumne County. For more information about the Medical Center visit

About Adventist Health
Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 75 communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 32,900 includes more than 23,600 employees; nearly 5,000 medical staff physicians; and 4,350 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 20 hospitals, more than 260 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 15 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. In addition, the Adventist Health Plan serves patients in Kings County. Visit for more information.