Fundraisers get competitive for Hospice

Hospice Coordinator Heather Brough and summer student Carly Smalczewski collect donations for the Hike for Hospice at the Bancroft Farmers’ Market on August 22. For a $5 donation supporters received a free coffee, donated by Tim Hortons, a lavender shortbread and a reusable cup holder.

Hospice Coordinator Heather Brough and summer student Carly Smalczewski collect donations for the Hike for Hospice at the Bancroft Farmers’ Market on August 22. For a $5 donation supporters received a free coffee, donated by Tim Hortons, a lavender shortbread and a reusable cup holder.

The Fall Hike for Hospice is still a month away but thanks to some amazing incentives like two tickets to anywhere WestJet flies, fundraisers are out early securing pledges. The Hike will be hosted by the Bancroft Golf Course on Sunday October 5 but for Betty Pilgrim, Leena Minne and Jeff Anderson, that’s hardly enough time to get ready.

Betty Pilgrim was one of the original three who got Hospice North Hastings up and running but that’s not the only reason why she’s out collecting pledges.

“October 5 is my 80th Birthday,” Pilgrim says. “I saw that date and I thought – that is really trying to tell me something.”

Pilgrim told her husband about the hike and he pledged $50 dollars. When her son found out, he threw in $51 dollars.

“I’ve been volunteering my whole life,” Pilgrim says. “You just have to help others and I’ve done cancer work for 40 years but this is important. Hospice is important.”

Pilgrim walks every day for 70 minutes so the hike through the golf course doesn’t seem like a big deal and she’s happily collecting her pledges all around the Bancroft area.

“People look at me like I’m a dollar sign,” Pilgrim laughs. “I want to raise $1,000 dollars – I’d like to make $2,000 even!”

And while Pilgrim has been raising funds for charity for years, Leena Minnie thinks she can give Pilgrim some great competition. A PSW for the local Red Cross, Minnie spends many of her days supporting those in the community who need special medical care.

“I know the success of the work we do,” Minnie says. “This hike is about supporting people but also making sure that the Hospice R and R program for caregivers can continue. We know the caregivers need a break so they can do the work they do. We are just so blessed to have Hospice North Hastings and the programs it offers in the community.”

Minnie also says the Hike is a great event to be at. There’s a beautiful walk with amazing fall colours and the Chili Fest is not to be missed.

“This hike is about togetherness,” Minnie says. “It’s about comfort and joy and it’s a day to get away from grief.”

After losing his mother in June, Jeff Anderson is looking forward to a break from the grief and he’s happy to be participating in the Hike for Hospice. Anderson wants to show his support for the services Hospice North Hastings provided to his family while his mother was ill.

“My mother was at Hospice House North Hastings and the level of care that she received was amazing,” Anderson says. “The caring and compassion that was given to my entire family will never be forgotten. Hospice House North Hastings is just like being at home, but with unlimited, exceptional care that we as families just cannot provide to our loved ones in their time of need. It a service that the people of the North Hastings should be very happy that they have. That’s why I’m hiking.”

The Hike for Hospice will be hosted by the Bancroft Golf Course on Sunday October 5 starting with registration at 3pm. Those who collect $1,000 in pledges will be entered to win two tickets to anywhere WestJet flies. Chili Fest runs after the Hike at 5pm and everyone is invited. Pledge forms are available at Hospice North Hastings.

Hospice North Hastings provides free services to North Hastings residents through their medical equipment loan program, a lending library, through the R and R program for caregivers and through our unique rural residential Hospice programming.

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