On Sunday, May 5th (2019) communities throughout Grey and Bruce counties participated in the National ‘Hike for Hospice’. This event is meant to raise awareness of Hospice and of its need for financial support. The Hike brings together family and friends in remembrance and to honour those who have passed. It also brings about a sense of community support and regard for the importance of Palliative Care that is being delivered in our area.
The weather was perfect in Saugeen Shores as participants started from the Rotary Rail Head in Port Elgin and hiked along the Rail Trail to Hi-Berry Farm and then back again, a distance of 6km.
Before heading out, Interim Officer of Public Health, Dr. Hazel Lynn, said that the Hike helps people remember their loved ones and also helps Hospice facilities provide state-of-the-art services at end of life days. “We truly appreciate the enthusiasm and joy that we see here today.”
Mayor Luke Charonneau also thanked the organizers and partcipants for attending a raising funds for such an important institution. ‘It’s important for folks entering the last phase of their lives to be able to have family and friends around them and to have a place to both celebrate and mourn at the end of life. Hospice is very important to our region and the community and the funds raised at this Hike make it possible to continue for years to come.”
Last year, eight communities throughout Grey-Bruce raised a total of $170 000.00 for the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce, Chapman House. In 2018, the community of Saugeen Shores donated a total of $5,355.
The goal for Hike for Hospice 2019 in Saugeen Shores was to raise $8,000 through business sponsorship, individual and team hikers’ pledges, and donations from individuals, service clubs and organizations.
Not only did Saugeen Shores meet its goal, it far surpassed it. Lakeshore Recreation Centre staff and members raised $11,000, Lorraine and Gerry Boucher donated $1,000, the Chantry Island Cham-bettes raised $1,000 plus another $1,000 in sponsorhip. These were only three of the many donations not including funds raised on-line and at time of registration.
The final total is yet to come.
“We are absolutely blown away by the response this year,” said organizer Sandy Ribey. “We did not expect the turn-out that we’ve had and the response on-line. This community is simply amazing.
Lorraine Boucher said that she could not hike this year due to knee surgery. “I really wanted to walk but because i couldn’t, my husband Gerry and I donated instead. I hope other people who were unable to take part still give to such a worthy cause.”