Like so many other community events, this year’s annual Hike for Hospice event is going virtual.
Hospice Orillia and Mariposa House Hospice are once again joining forces to put on the fundraising event that raised $30,000 last year.
“All funds raised stay in this community and will be used to support the visiting hospice programs and grief and bereavement supports led by Hospice Orillia,” said Whitney Vowels, director of operations and communications with North Simcoe Muskoka Hospice Palliative Care Network & Hospice Orillia.
“By walking, we continue to raise awareness about hospice palliative care and promote the exceptional work of those involved in providing that care.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic putting financial stress on local community partners and sponsors, the goal for this year's Hike for Hospice has been cut down from $35,000 to $30,000.
However, there is an added importance to meeting the goal as Mariposa Hospice is set to open its new five-bed residential facility later this year; the facility offers end-of-life palliative care to communities in north Simcoe.
“We rely on community support to thrive, which is one reason why the Hike for Hospice is so important,” said Annalise Stenekes, executive director of Mariposa House Hospice.
“It raises funds that we rely on to meet the needs of those we serve, and it gives us a chance to celebrate our accomplishments and the positive impact we’ve had for so many people," said Stenekes.
Typically, the community is invited to participate in the event down at Couchiching Beach Park. This year’s virtual event, which runs through the entire month of October, will allow participants to choose when and where they want to take their hike.
“We are using the phrase, 'Where will your hike take you?' We really want people to get out and explore all that we are surrounded by here in the region,” said Amanda Tevelde, communications and fundraising coordinator with Hospice Orillia.
Participants are asked to register through www.bit.ly/H4HOrillia and create a giving page where they can collect pledges. While on their hike, participants are asked to take photos and share them with the community to spread awareness.
“It’s not just about bringing in the money, but it’s also about getting people engaged and aware of what goes on with Hospice Orillia and Mariposa House Hospice,” Tevelde said.