RUN, HIKE - Penny Tanner, Myles Tanner and Mikayla Warren took part in the Run/Hike for Hospice fundraiser which supports the Red Deer Hospice on May 6th, 2018. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

Run/Hike for Hospice kicks off National Palliative Care Week

Over 400 participants took part with all proceeds going to Red Deer Hospice

Red Deer recently played host to the 11th annual Hike for Hospice, which coincides with the National Palliative Care week and supports the operation of the Red Deer Hospice.

This is the fourth year that the hike has also included a run component, meaning hikers had the choice between a 5km wooded trail or a 1km stroller and wheelchair friendly path, and runners had the choice between a 5km or 10km run along the City’s trail system.

“All the participants are walking and running for their loved ones that have gone through the Hospice or have had other Hospice experiences,” Wendi Ronspies, president of the board of directors for the Red Deer Hospice Society, said.

Ronspies added over 400 participants signed up this year, meaning the event promises to raise at least $10,000 before the added amount from pledges and donations — which was still being counted at press time.

The amount raised contributes to around 75 per cent of the Red Deer Hospice’s operating budget.

Ronspies said the event is one that has grown year over year.

“It has been something our community has really embraced and it (the hospice) is a place where families can come and be part of end-of-life care for their loved ones. There is nothing else like it — it is a very, very special place,” she said.

The run in Red Deer is also part of a national event, which has thousands of participants across Canada.

“This annual event helps recognize the valuable work done by hospice palliative care volunteers and health care providers across our vast country, and is helping to build awareness of the need for better access to quality end-of-life care for Canada’s aging population,” a press release stated.

Donating time through volunteer hours is something that is crucial to the success of the Red Deer Hospice.

“Our volunteers are so precious to us and that is an example of a non-monetary contribution,” she said. “You can also make donations of all sorts. There are so many ways to support the Hospice that don’t necessarily have to be monetary.”

She added it is currently exciting times for the Hospice.

“We are going to be having an expansion announcement in the next couple months and we will be starting a capital campaign for that,” she said.

More information can be found at reddeerhospice.com

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

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