All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Friday, December 8th, 2023

Supporters moved through May to support hospice

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
For the past 20 days, folks across the County have been walking for a good cause as they participated in the Hike for Hospice Prince Edward event.

For those who preferred a different activity to walking in the ‘20 days to hike your way in May’, participants were invited to run, bike, swim, horseback ride or kayak, even yoga or Tai-Chi counted toward the hospice hike where the idea was to get active while supporting the local charity.

A total of $17,616 was raised (a figure expected to climb as donations continue to roll in) at Friday evening’s wrap-up event at the Prince Edward Community Centre (a late change from the Crystal Palace), a celebration open to the community.

“This wrap-up event is very special and just really, really fantastic, and it’s really wonderful to have our community together once again and to see all of this community spirit for our Hike for Hospice,” said Sandra Barnes, executive director with Hospice Prince Edward. “We really appreciate the support of our community and it can only grow from there.”

Sophiasburgh councillor Bill Roberts, describing himself as a keen participant in the 2023 Hike for Hospice, also brought official greetings on behalf of council.

“I want to congratulate all the Hospice Prince Edward volunteers, staff and board of directors for another great annual fundraiser in support of this valuable community service,” said Roberts. “And again, a special shout-out to the volunteers as I’ve always said that our County volunteers put the “unity” in our “community”.”

Barbara Proctor, president of the Rotary Club of Picton, presented $500 to help boost toward the fundraising goal this year of $45,000.

“The Rotary Club of Picton is dedicated to the support of Hospice Prince Edward and our club recognizes the great value of hospice care, and some of our rotary families have had first-hand benefit of the compassion and the gentle care of hospice,” said Proctor.

“We are very proud to be a supporter of hospice and very proud of the service that your organization provides in comfort to so many families in our community,” she added, where she thanked hospice volunteers, hospice staff and the hospice board.

While hospices all over Canada embark on this national event at this time of year, one hundred per cent of the funds raised in the County’s Hike for Hospice, which began with an in-person kick-off event on May 6, remain with Hospice Prince Edward and the local community.

Raising funds and increasing awareness for hospice palliative care in Canada, funds are used to deliver high-quality, compassionate hospice palliative care across all programs, where the residents of Prince Edward County will have access to the quality of care they not only need, but deserve through their life journey.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic years disrupted this event three years ago, the format changed from the traditional morning hike with various routes in and around downtown Picton, to having folks walk, or embark on some activity, whenever they chose, wherever they choose, however often they choose over a period of 20 days during the month of May.

There was a presentation of prizes and acknowledgement of those individuals and teams who hiked for Hospice in various categories, including top individual fundraiser and top team fundraiser, along with many participation prizes given out.

Bill Roberts receiving a prize as a top contributer to this year’s hike.

Rambling (Bill) Roberts was the top individual fundraiser collecting $5,675, where Roberts also took the honour of the highest donation raised in one day ($1,200), as well the individual who hiked the longest (120 kilometres).

Second place for top individual fundraiser went to Kim Haigh with $1,515, followed by Karen Mayer ($1,000), and Dorothy Harrison ($870).

The Cressy Glenora Striders took honours for the top fundraising team, raising $4,205, and also took the honour of being the largest team.

The most creative way to get active prize was given to Janice at Serendipity Yoga, and the most energetic team, Norine and Karen with the Dancing Ladies, where it was acknowledged that Norine walked around block around 42 times.

Barnes recognized the Hospice board of directors, Susan Brajtman (chair), Barry Davidson (treasurer), David Smith, Annette Gaskin (secretary), Karen Mayer and Peter Matthewman.

“The board of directors is so unwavering, and we are lucky to have such an engaged and caring group of people,” said Barnes.

Brajtman shared her deepest gratitude and appreciation from the board, “for everybody who donated, sponsored, hiked, walked, rode their bike, canoed, kayaked and raised money for our wonderful hospice and we so appreciate all the effort for supporting such a wonderful cause.”

The Reasons entertained

With a barbeque hosted by the Rotary Club of Picton, celebrations continued into the evening with live musical entertainment by the Reasons, who also donated their time for the event.

Barnes also acknowledged all Hospice volunteers, including those who help with events like the hike, those who work in the residence, and those visiting within the community with those living with a life-limiting illnesses, which Barnes said also provides some respite for care partners.

“Our volunteers do a great job and they are very, very needed and very appreciated, not only by hospice, but by those in our community.”

“Importantly, not only is Hospice Prince Edward a valuable community service, it is an essential community services, one that adds life to days: hospice may not change the end of life outcome, but it positively changes the end of life journey,” added Roberts. “Put simply, the care provided by Hospice Prince Edward adds life to days, when we can’t add days to life!.”

“Our hospice brings compassion, family, dignity and friendship all together and does so with great sensitivity and incredible care in a way that combines mind, body and spirit, and all this in a home environment, where family needs are met and most importantly, honoured.”

Located at 40 Downes Avenue, Picton, find out more about what Hospice Prince Edward do and the free services they offer, and there is still time to donate at hospiceprinceedward.ca.

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