by Glenda Jones

When the hikers started arriving in record numbers at the Mill of Kintail on Sunday afternoon, the organizers of the inaugural Hike for Hospice, May 5, in Mississippi Mills knew they were in for a surprise. And what a surprise it was, as over 60 hikers raised close to  $9000.00 for the new hospice project!

 Board Chair Christine Bois was joined by Julia Thomas and Mary Wilson-Trider for the opening ceremony, recognizing Julia for instigating the whole hospice idea, and Mary Wilson-Trider for her leadership in introducing palliative care into the hospital. Together they dedicated the Hike to organizer Gary Pollock’s late daughter, Teresa who spent many happy hours roaming the trails at the Mill of Kintail.

The Hike was the first major endeavour of the Hospice to raise funds, and it is significant in how it has touched the hearts of our community. With the office now open, and the training course about to begin, the Hub Hospice is beginning to be a reality. The cooperation between healthcare providers is a bonus as all agencies are recognizing the value of this new service.

Organizers Gary Pollock, and Linda Berg were thrilled with the response of so many people as they took off for their afternoon walk in the woods, dogs and children in tow. They were also grateful for the many sponsors who were part of this event, everyone from businesses to the paramedics and the Almonte Radio Club, without whom the Hike would have been difficult. The Hike for Hospice will undoubtedly become a fixture of the spring calendar every year, building on the incredible success of this first attempt.

Visit the website www.hubhospice.com to investigate the many aspects of hospice support  this new venture will be offering.  There are opportunities to contribute in many ways, and being part of an event like the Hike has been a commendable start.

The board, and especially organizers Gary Pollock and Linda Berg, wish to thank the community for their stellar support of this year’s hike. Keep your boots handy, as there will another one next year!