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Hospice hikers determined to support the cause

Spirit drummers always set the tone for the Hike for Hospice. - Don Bodger
Spirit drummers always set the tone for the Hike for Hospice.
— image credit: Don Bodger

It may have been a soggy Sunday, but the dedication shown by 350 people who attended the sixth-annual Cowichan Valley Hike for Hospice will brighten the spirits of so many.

Fundraising efforts yielded nearly $34,000 for the Cowichan Valley Hospice Society event at Providence Farm May 4.

The top fundraising team of Barb and Dan Nugent, also the event organizers, were joined by many enthusiastic teams.

Team Gillian, led by Allan Scott, included 56 friends who braved mud and rain in memory of his wife Gillian. Anna and Nathan Ackhurst, two of the youngest team members, boosted the total raised by $254.36 through lemonade sales.

There were many more tales of people going above and beyond the call of duty.

Cathy McPherson and Rachel Winter were the leading individual fundraisers. Team Jasper and Arbutus Ramblers hikers returned for the fifth year in a row.

Eighty people volunteered for the event, serving as trail marshals, doing registration, supplying entertainment or in other capacities such as greeters, face painters, foot spa workers or lunch crew members.

Louise McMurray welcomed the hikers and led the spirit drummers in the prayer song.

All the money raised stays locally for hospice care for families dealing with someone with an advancing illness or grieving the loss of a loved one.

"We appreciate the contributions of everyone involved in this beautiful event,'' noted Gretchen Hartley, executive director of Cowichan Valley Hospice. "The hike is both a fundraiser and, for so many, an opportunity for a beautiful spring walk in honour of someone they love.''

Even if it means enduring rain or mud, it's a small consolation for the participants.

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