Crescent Beach’s Blackie Spit Park was busy Sunday morning with people participating in the Peace Arch Hospice Society (PAHS)’s 20th annual Hike for Hospice fundraising event.
With balloon animals, music, refreshments, a warm-up and plenty of leashed, four-legged companions to ‘help’ their humans, participants walked or ran one, three or five kilometres to raise funds for the society, which provides grief and palliative programs, free of charge to those who need them.
More than 150 showed up to help and, with one generous supporter, David Webb, matching up to $25,000, donations had exceeded $52,000 by Monday afternoon, according to PAHS executive director Amanda McNally.
“People can still donate online – we’re still seeing more coming in,” she said.
“It was our 20th annual event, so it was very exciting! It never ceases to amaze me on the morning of hike… the commitment and passion for our organization is pretty incredible.”
PAHS couldn’t do it without more than 70 volunteers and the many fundraisers, McNally noted.
The Top Team Fundraiser went to Team Gayle and Dave (Gayle Boutilier, David Chesney, Lori Ishikawa & Jill Martyniuk), while the award for Top Individual Fundraiser went to Kelsey Heald from Team Darcy.
Suzanne Martell and Louise Gagnon were walking in memory of Martel’s father (Gagnon’s husband).
“We lost my dad three weeks ago,” Martell said, noting that the box they had built for his walker, specially made for Bandit, his and Gagnon’s dog, would be offered for sale, with proceeds going to PAHS.
“Bandit’s missing him, too,” she said.
Overall, the event was a great success, mainly because of the outstanding community that supports PAHS, McNally said.
“We are so grateful to everyone in the community for all of their support.”