PASCO COUNTY (Nov. 13, 2013) – Close to 600 Hikers walked or ran in memory or honor of loved ones at the seventh annual Hike for Hospice at Rasmussen College on Nov. 10 and more than $56,000 was committed to the hospice by the end of the event.
“Hike for Hospice is designed to celebrate and honor the lives of friends and family members,” said Linda Ward, president and CEO of Gulfside Regional Hospice. “The day was beautiful and we got to honor our veterans this year, with special presentations both before and after the Hike. From the starting line at the run until the memorial at the end of the day, you could feel the energy of the Hikers.”
Taking place over Veterans Day weekend, the event began with a salute to all former and current military personnel that included the national anthem sung by Kelsey Bain and the color guard from the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. After the 5K run with close to 175 runners this year, Gulfside’s bereavement department started the program with a special presentation to celebrity guest former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Mike Alstott. Kristin West,11, told her story about how Gulfside helped her family to the crowd after the death of her grandmother. “Shortly after my grandma’s death, my sisters and I started to see a counselor from Gulfside Regional Hospice to help us with our grief ,” West said. “My favorite thing I have done with Gulfside is the Kids Camp because I got to meet other kids going through the same grief I’m going through.” Alstott was on hand for the seventh year to kick-off the 5K Hike for Hospice, and thanked the crowd for coming to the event after the bereavement presentation.
After the Hike for Hospice walk, there was a memorial ceremony and awards presented to high fundraisers and teams, as well as to the fastest runners in the 5K Run. Awards were presented to:
• First Place Team – Kanehl’s Kids – $3,500
• Second Place Team – Fabulous 4 – $2,112.40
• Third Place Team – The Ken Dolls – $2,100
• First Place Individual – Frank McCollister – $1,642
• Second Place Individual – Jo DeBolt – $1,200
• Third Place Individual – Amanda Long – $855
• Fastest Runners – Male – Paul Lefebvre with a time of 19:06.6; Charles Rosse with a time of 20:04.1; and Martin Triplett with a time of 20:30.4
• Fastest Runners – Female – Elaina Cancello with a time of 22:58.6; Katherine Cancello with a time of 22:58.7; and Patty Cain with a time of 23:43.2
• Fastest Runners – Youth (15 and under) – Nicholas Barbas with a time of 19:07.5; Brandon Bundick with a time of 22:18.9; and Dalton Garafolo with a time of 23:18.5
All proceeds from the Hike for Hospice will be designated for patients and their families facing life-limiting illnesses in Pasco County, as well as support programs at Gulfside’s Hospice Houses and Bereavement Centers. The Hike for Hospice has raised more than $300,000 for Gulfside Regional Hospice since it began in 2007.
The Hike for Hospice would not be possible without the generosity of the sponsors, said Ward. The Presenting Sponsor for the Hike for Hospice is Bouchard Insurance. Additional sponsors include:
• Medal of Honor Sponsor – Zymphony
• Guardian Angel Sponsor- AC Healthcare and BB&T
• Stars and Stripes Sponsors – Kiwanis Club of Greater West Pasco, LaserRite Document Solutions, MedFleet and O2 Solutions
• American Eagle Sponsor – The Breakfast Nook, Power Design, Inc., Prudential Commercial Real Estate FL and Rasmussen College
• Purple Patriot Sponsors – Carlson Construction, Inc., Cornerstone Financial Planners, Eternal Cremation Services, Dr. Stanley Giannet, Hook Law Group, Jones and Company CPAs, The Obenreder Family, OptiLife Chiropractic and Synovus Bank
Gulfside Regional Hospice, established as a nonprofit corporation in Pasco County in 1988 and initially licensed in 1989, serves more than 375 patients daily. GRH employs over 250 professionals and has more than 550 volunteers, and is the only hospice that serves Pasco County exclusively. For more information about Gulfside Regional Hospice, call 800-561-4883 or visit www.GRHospice.org.