Hike for Bethell Hospice raises over $211,000 this year

May 18, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Zachary Roman

Weather was great and spirits were high at the 2023 Hike for Bethell Hospice on May 7, which saw over 400 people gather at the Lloyd Wilson Centennial Arena.

The sun was shining as participants arrived, many bringing along their dogs, to get ready for the hike and get their hike t-shirts. Coffee, fruit and other breakfast items were served as music played. Soon, hikers were called together to hear some opening remarks.

John Sanderson, Chair of the Bethell Hospice Foundation (BHF) board, thanked all of the sponsors of the event. Anita Schenk, team captain of the Parade of Perseverance hike team, read a poem written for the hike by a past volunteer.

“There’s a purpose to our rambling along the trail this poignant day…” said Schenk. “For those whose lives are waning and for those whose grief lies bare, we will walk towards sustaining the fullness of hospice care.”

May 7 was Hospice Palliative Care Day and Ward 1 Councillor Lynn Kiernan made a special proclamation from the Town of Caledon to mark the day.

“Awareness will be raised in communities across Caledon about supporting the quality of life for the living and dying through hospice palliative care services,” said Kiernan. “I… do commend (hospice palliative care day’s) thoughtful observance.”

Margaret Paan, executive director of Bethell Hospice, said it was an honour to be recognized with a proclamation. She explained this year, 44 teams signed up for the hike, and she was appreciative of every single one.

“You are each making a difference by being here with us today,” said Paan, who then read the names of some top fundraisers. 

The top community fundraising team was Parade of Perseverance, which raised nearly $6,400. The top Bethell Hospice staff or volunteer team was the Boardwalkers, who raised over $45,000. The top individual fundraiser was Adrian Horwood, who raised over $10,500. 

Of the $255,000 goal for this year’s hike, just over $211,000 has been raised so far. These totals are all as of May 8, however fundraising remains live online at until the end of the month. 

The BHF has to raise $1.5 million each year so that Bethell Hospice can provide free hospice and palliative care services to the community.

Nicole Hand, Executive Director of the BHF and said she was so thankful for all the local businesses that stepped up to support the hike this year. She explained over 40 volunteers were involved in setting up for and cleaning up after the hike.

“It takes a village and our village showed up today,” said Hand.

Kelly Stronach, Manager of Marketing and Communications for the BHF, said the student Hike for Bethell Hospice held on May 5 was a success. There were five schools, and hundreds of students, participating. The hikes raised $6,500.

“It was a really successful day,” said Stronach. “We’re hoping next year that it will grow a little bigger; have a few more schools involved.”

Stronach said it’s important for kids to know there is somewhere in the community they can go for grief and bereavement support.

Sanderson has been on the Bethell Hospice Board for ten years and is in his last year as board chair. His older brother was a resident at Bethell Hospice when he passed away. While it’s not the only reason Sanderson joined the Board, it showed him the amazing work done at Bethell Hospice. 

“I got to see exactly what it’s all about and I’ve been on the board ever since,” said Sanderson.

He said it’s been great to see the hike grow over the years, recalling at the first hike there might have been only 25 to 50 people. Now, hundreds show up to support it each year.

“[The hike] brings people together,” said Sanderson.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.