Hospice hopes to raise $75,000 0
Hospice Georgian Triangle is hoping for a $75,000 finish in this year's hiking fundraiser.
This is the second year south Georgian Bay residents joined the national Hike for Hospice event.
Vice-chair Bruce West says the hike was initiated to raise awareness in the community.
He says hospice is important to every community, but especially to a community with an aging population.
West points out a person with a terminal illness' options are limited - they can either spend their remaining days at home or at a hospital.
He says a hospital is not a very intimate setting for visiting family members or for the patient.
"A hospice home is very private," said West.
Last year, the local Hike for Hospice raised $57,000 for local palliative support.
Georgian Triangle Hospice provides educational services, bereavement support for adults and children, and non-medical volunteer visiting.
West says caring for a loved one with a prolonged terminal illness is demanding.
"What hospice does is it provides relief to the caregivers," said West.
The volunteer-based organization also provides longer-term respite care at the Susie Newton Hospice Suite, which provides up to two weeks of 24-hour volunteer support.
West says the two-bed facility allows caregivers to have "an intense break" so they can rejuvenate.
"Ultimately, what you want is an end-of-life facility, so people have dignity at the end of their life," said West, adding much of the funds raised by this years' hike will go toward building one.
Hospice Georgian Triangle has already raised more than $500,000 for a new six-bed end-of-life facility (which will have room for up to 10 beds), but West says much more is needed.
This area's second hike takes place May 6 with a 10-kilometre hike at Scenic Caves in The Blue Mountains, and 7 km hikes at the Collingwood Legion and Wasaga Beach RecPlex.
"Everyone who doesn't feel up to that is invited to come and hike the last kilometre," said West.
The 10-km hike will start at 10 a.m. and the 7-km hikes will start at 11 a.m. A $10 registration fee will go toward the cost of lunch.
A pledge form is inserted in Friday's issue of The Enterprise-Bulletin.