Annual Hike for Hospice declared a success

HOORAY FOR HOSPICE (From left) Sandy Jeaees, John Jeaees, Amber Putman, Mary Leyendeckels, Marianne Malachowski and Margot Rivers reveal the total donations raised by the teams and individuals for the 2019 Hike for Hospice. With the total being only $261 short from last year's total, the organization is very happy with the 2019 outcome. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

 

DESIRÉE DECOSTE

STAFF WRITER

The 2019  haul from another popular Hike for Hospice nearly exceeded last year’s mark as approximately 150 people took part in the annual fundraiser through the streets of Picton Sunday.

The eighth annual Hike for Hospice raised  $25,264, nearly exceeding last years total of $25,525.

The weather was beautiful for the event with the sun shining and a cool breeze keeping the heat down as hikers walked in a circuitous route, departing from and arriving back at the Prince Edward Community Centre.

“This is my second year doing the hike,” said Brenda Picard. “It’s really nice a small town like this has a hospice.”

The hike started off at the Prince Edward Community Centre with a bag piper leading the way to Main St. followed by the group of approximately 150 people from all different ages.

The event is designed to bring awareness to the community about what services Hospice Prince Edward does offers including grief and bereavement program, the three bed residential hospice and an outreach program that anyone can benefit from.

Karen Moore, Executive Director for Hospice Prince Edward told the Gazette she believes greatly in the work the organization does, comforting and serving people and their families in the final stages of life.

(Right) Sophiasburgh Councillor Bill Roberts takes part in some warm up dancing at the 2019 Hike for Hospice on Sunday morning. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

“I’ve volunteered in the community as a visiting volunteer with people who had received a life-limiting illness and one in particular was a woman aged 26 and she wanted people to go in who would do complimentary modalities and because I do raki, reflexology and meditation, I was able to go in and spend that time with her,” Moore recalled.

For other residents, Moore would go in and spend time with them and help them write letters to their loved ones so there could be some memories to hold onto.

Moore made a point to say the best way we reach people is by sharing stories and journeys and mostly everyone wants their story told before they pass.

The organization also helps many families and individuals with their needs and final wants.

“The thing about Hospice, it’s about that whole circle of care that we provide, not only to the individual but to their care givers, their families and the people who are supporting them,” Moore said,” That’s what we do for our residents, we not only take care of the individual but we take care of the family members to and that’s what we do in the community.”

“Hospice was planned as a family environment and our volunteers and staff go out of their way for all our families,” added Peter Matthewman, President and Chair of Hospice Prince Edward. “We try to make them as comfortable as possible and to do what ever is needed to accommodate our families.”

Both young and young at heart took part on Sunday.

“A friend of mine mentioned the hike,” hiker and PECI student Brianna Walcott said. “Our friend is on the student council and she said we should come. It’s something she’s really passionate about so we thought we would support her.”

Walkers were treated to music by The Reasons with Peter Rea singing and playing guitar as well as a BBQ lunch from the Rotary Club of Picton.

The top fundraisers were as follows:

Top individual fundraisers

  • Wanda Trip – $1,210
  • Pat Legere – $1,150
  • Jocelen Matthewmen – $1,000

Top Team

  • Creasy Striders – $3,080 (Matched by Annette Gaskin – $3080) totalling $6,160

Honourable mentions:

  • Prince Edward Family Health Team Busy Bakers – $1990
  • Picton Clinic’s Drug Runners – $1516
  • Carell Doerrbecker and her meditation group – $1,250

Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, The Rotary Club of Picton and The County of Prince Edward all sponsored the event.