Hike For Hospice raises awareness
Hospice Society of Camrose Grief and Bereavement coordinator Bill Harder, second from the right, leads a group during the annual Hike for Hospice at the Stoney Creek Centre on Sunday. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian
The Hike for Hospice is often used as a major fundraising tool. For the Hospice Society of Camrose and District it is all about awareness.
About 50 participants gathered at the Stoney Creek Lodge on Sunday afternoon to remember loved ones who have died and to support the local chapter. Following a brief ceremony led by grief and bereavement coordinator and program coordinator Bill Harder, those gathered took to the trails before returning to share in food and conversation.
"It's an opportunity to highlight the work that hospice does and also palliative care in general," said Harder.
Key to the afternoon is that it brought out a wide swath of people, from seniors to families with young children. For those needing help to navigate the trails, former City councillor Bill Sear was on hand giving rides in the Camrose Public Libraries Life Cycle rickshaw.
"Rather than just preaching to the choir regarding palliative care as something that only affects our elder population, this highlights that this is a whole family, any age concern and addressing that concern is a need for all of us," said Harder.
The afternoon also included a barbecue and a bake sale t help raise some funds. May 6-12 is National Hospice Palliative Care Week and the national body is encouraging Canadians to consider ways community involvement can support the dying and bereavement process.
Up next for the Camrose chapter is their Volunteer Appreciation night on May 16 at the Stoney Creek Centre starting at 5:30 p.m. The night will feature a performance by stand up comedian Donovan Erickson and a performance by local singer Maya Rathnavalu.
"We're hoping to get anyone who has ever volunteered with us to come out," said Harder. "Its an evening to just say thank you, to honour some people with some five-year awards and support our volunteer community."