Residents, officials and clergy gathered outside the Tuesday to celebrate the official opening of the .
The nonprofit group was started in 2007 by Patricia Hutzelman, Alan Israel, Donna Bott and Wendy Megerman after the Pascack Valley Hospital closed. During the following years, the group raised $500,000 to provide free hospice care and were .
The hospice officially received a Medicare number Wednesday, meaning they will be able to reimbursed for some services while still not charging patients. Until now, the group has only been able to care for a limited number of patients, but they will be able to help a larger number of people, Bott said.
The group's co-founders thanked local residents and officials for their support Tuesday.
"You have encouraged, supported and trusted us and we promise you to deliver quality end of life care, providing dignity and respect to you and your loved ones," Bott said.
Bott also thanked Pastor Tom Korkuch, who donated office space to the group at the Methodist Church.
"We gave some space, but they're the ones who gave their hearts and their time to people who are nearing end of life," Korkuch said.