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Hikers raise funds for North Okanagan Hospice Society

The annual Hike for Hospice event took place at the DND grounds in Vernon Saturday
The annual Hike for Hospice event raised funds for the North Okanagan Hospice Society Saturday, May 11, 2024. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

A bluebird day greeted hikers in Vernon Saturday at a fundraiser for the North Okanagan Hospice Society.

The Society’s Hike for Hospice took place at the DND grounds May 11, and participants braved high temperatures to support the cause.

The annual event — which was open to children and dogs as well as adults — was a day filled with camaraderie, entertainment, food trucks and support for people nearing the end of life at hospice.

Participants went on a two-kilometre trek around the DND grounds. Before the hike, the Vernon Lions Club served up a pancake breakfast, and Ratio Coffee was on hand to make sure everyone was energized for the hike.

Lisa Matthews, executive director of the society, said the annual event is part of a national initiative for the Canadian Palliative and Hospice Care Society that runs during National Palliative Care Week (May 5-11).

Matthews said Hike for Hospice has been a successful event over the years, though this year the turnout was “a little bit less than we expected, and that’s just because of the weather, and there’s a number of other events going on this weekend.”

The event had an ‘80s theme in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the hospice.

The society had a fundraising goal of $10,000 for the event, and donations are still coming in.

“We’ll have donations coming in over the next two weeks for the teams, and we’ve got some prizes for the highest earners, the best-looking dog, and we were able to give prizes for people who came out as well,” Matthews said.

  Funds are raised a number of different ways, from the people who sign up to hike, to friends and family who donate to registered teams.

  “The generosity and the commitment of our Vernon community to our North Okanagan Hospice Society always humbles me, because they’re always in full force, and they’re always happy to do it,” Matthews said of this year’s participants, while giving a shout-out to all the volunteers, hospice staff and board members who made the event possible.

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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