Over 700 hikers gathered in Millennium Park Sunday to raise money for Hospice Peterborough.
For many, it was an emotional event.
Anita Welsh lost her daughter in 2010. She said she and her family worked through their grief with the help of Hospice Peterborough.
“If Hospice wasn’t here things would be so much worse for any parent or sibling or husband or wife that is grieving,” she said.
Organizers of Sunday’s walk took time to acknowledge grief, loss and illness before the event started.
“Our culture doesn’t allow us to continue to remember and honour people beyond a very short period of time,” said Hospice Peterborough’s bereavement coordinator David Kennedy. “And so the hike provides people with a safe, encouraging place where they can come and talk about that person, and honour that person.”
But the walk was more than just a chance to come together – it’s also a major fundraiser for the organization. On Sunday, participants brought in about $80,000.
Executive director Linda Sunderland said the money will go to the day-to-day programs run by Hospice Peterborough.
But the funds also come at a time when Hospice is undergoing some big changes.
It’s in the midst of building a new centre, a project that’s encountered it’s fair share of hiccups.
Initial plans called for the renovation of Langton House on Crawford Dr. But after encountering numerous construction issues, Hospice Peterborough changed its plan and decided to demolish the building and start anew.
“We certainly had glitches last year and we needed to change the direction of the project completely,” Sunderland said.
“But we have a new design and we have a fabulous team, and if anybody wants to drive up Reid St., they can see everything that’s happening,” she said, referring to the new building currently under construction.