Hike for Hospice 2021 doubles the amount raised thanks to you!

Penetanguishene. After a year of operating Tomkins House during a pandemic, where most fundraising activities were halted, the annual Hike for Hospice was our best event ever! The communities of North Simcoe showed incredible support, raising over $90,000!

“Residents from Elmvale to Coldwater, Tay and Tiny Townships and the Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene rallied around this event” Debbie Kesheshian, Executive Director of Hospice Huronia states. We had volunteers, businesses and whole neighbourhoods pitching in and fundraising for our Virtual Hike. Supportive sponsors made sure that every penny raised will care for those with a life-limiting illness and at end-of-life. What made this year so successful was all the family and friends of those who made Tomkins House their final home away from home. They wanted to pay it forward so the next families would have the same exceptional care they received from Hospice Huronia.

This event and other fundraising initiatives are vital as only 49% of Hospice Huronia’s total expenses are covered by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and the rest must come from fundraising activities, individual and corporate donations. Interestingly, this event took place during the lockdown and so was promoted as “Do it your way, anytime in the month of May” and was set up to allow participants to fundraise online and Hike, Bike, Walk or Stroll on their own schedule, by themselves or with people in their immediate “bubble”.

This format helped us to double the amount we have raised in past years, but it was the Resilience Grant opportunity through the Ontario Trillium Foundation that made the biggest impact. COVID meant we had to layoff of our administrative staff to focus on patients and families at Tomkins House and those with bereavement support needs. The Resilience grant brought back fundraiser JoAnn Warren to our team, and she made the online email process easy for each participant to raise money. She was also able to create greater awareness and publicity with more people talking about Hospice than ever before. You couple that with over 100 families having spent time at Tomkins House, where they have seen firsthand exactly how each donation is used, and you create a fabulous annual event. We’re looking forward to hosting a thank you BBQ for our participants once such gatherings are allowed.”

Hospice Huronia’s Tomkins House continues to welcome residents who are at the end of their life journey and support them and their families in a home-like setting. These services and bereavement support services are free to all thanks in-part to the support we receive from events like our Hike this year.

For more information of Hospice Huronia’s programs and services or to make a donation, visit HospiceHuronia.ca or call 705-549-1034. We are thankful for those who make hospice their charity of choice.