Central Alberta runners and hikers will trek around the city for the Red Deer Hospice this weekend.
The annual Run/Hike for Hospice, which is Sunday, will raise money to support resident care and the hospice’s $5.2-million expansion.
“It’s sort of a memorial event. Lots of families who have had someone transition through Red Deer Hospice come out and hike or run in honour or in memory of that person. It’s an impactful event,” said event co-ordinator Lori Dufresne.
The hike will bring central Albertans through the Kerry Wood Nature Centre, and the run will delight participants with a trip along Red Deer’s scenic riverside trails.
Each $25 registration pays for one hour of hospice care, Dufresne added.
Hike for Hospice is a national event with thousands of participants across Canada. The event recognizes the work done by hospice palliative care volunteers and health care providers, and builds awareness for the need of better access to quality end-of-life care for the country’s aging population.
The Red Deer Hospice “allows people the most comfort and compassion at the end of their life. It gives them a home-like setting where they can be surrounded by family and friends,” said Dufresne.
Dufresne said she expects 400 hikers and runners to participate in Sunday’s event.
There is a $60,000 fundraising goal and all the proceeds will stay in Red Deer. Last year’s event raised $40,000.
The hike has been in Red Deer for 11 years, but the run is a newer addition. The run was introduced to attract people who don’t have a connection to hospice care.
“All of the runners who come out can’t fail to notice the impact of those families and groups (touched by the Red Deer Hospice Society),” she said.
The No Show Gala raffle winners will be drawn after the run and hike Sunday as well. About 90 per cent of the 4,000 tickets are already sold. Three grand prizes will be drawn at noon, including a week at a luxury resort in Nuevo Vallarta or the Mayan Riviera.
For more information, to register for the Run/Hike for Hospice, or to purchase No Show Gala raffle tickets, visit www.reddeerhospice.com.