The 12th Annual Hike for Hospice, sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, has broken records once again! The event, which takes place every year on the first Sunday in May, is one of the signature fundraising events for VON Sakura House residential hospice. The event has seen huge growth since the doors of the hospice opened to patients in 2009, with many participants forming teams in tribute to a loved one who has passed.
Hike for Hospice welcomed over 500 participants (over 55 teams!) to Roth Park on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Event-goers braved the cooler temperature and appreciated the sunshine to start the day. Paul Lang, from 104.7 Heart FM was the MC for the day; Oxford County Warden – Don McKay, Woodstock Mayor – Pat Sobeski, and VON Canada’s Cindy Kinnon brought greetings to participants. Tim Hortons on Norwich Ave. donated hot chocolate & coffee, Your Farm Market offered apple slices and go kart rides to start the day, and TD Canada Trust volunteers assisted with the Registration tent. VON Sakura House bereavement coordinator, Nancy Clark & musician, Betty Ford lead the moving Tribute Ceremony before the Hikers took to the Pittock Trail.
After their choice of 1km, 5km, or 8km Hike routes, with volunteers from Innerkip Presbyterian Church offering water along the way, participants returned to Roth Park to enjoy a BBQ lunch donated and prepared by the Sweaburg Lions. Participants also filled the Sakura Tree with paper blossoms in memory of their loved ones.
Since the fundraising grand total was announced at the event, it has climbed even higher, breaking last year’s record, and coming in at $100,731! All funds stay local and go toward the Annual Operation of VON Sakura House hospice.