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Hospice Northwest aims to raise $50,000 through fourth annual fundraising walk

THUNDER BAY – Reaching the end of life is a difficult process. With a growing need in the community, Hospice Northwest is looking for financial support to be able to help as many people and families as possible.
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Participants in the fourth annual Hike for Hospice drop flowers off the Black Bay Bridge in memory of lost loved ones. (Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com)

THUNDER BAY – Reaching the end of life is a difficult process.

With a growing need in the community, Hospice Northwest is looking for financial support to be able to help as many people and families as possible.

The organization held their fourth annual Hike for Hospice on Sunday, a five kilometre trek around Boulevard Lake that started and finished at St. Ignatius High School.

Kathy Kortes-Miller, chair of Hospice Northwest board of directors, said the goal of the event is to raise $50,000.

“We’re at the point right now where we have such a big demand for our services that we’re not able to continue to grow our organization in a way to continue to serve our community the way we’d like to,” Kortes-Miller said.

“We’ve outgrown our traditional funding sources so we need events like this to enhance that so we can support people who are grieving and bereaved and of course as they’re dying.”

Nearly 200 people participated in the walk, which included dropping a flower from the Black Bay Bridge down into the Current River to remember a passed love one.

The turnout is a recognition of how valuable the end of life process is, Kortes-Miller said.

“When a loved one dies it affects a minimum of five other people, let alone our entire community,” she said.

Shane Judge served as the coordinator of the hike.

He recognizes the importance of the organization after having to go through the process without assistance.

“This is a service I would have loved to have had when my father passed away. Having to deal with that grief, he died of cancer when he was only 60, was a tough, tough time,” Judge said.

“Now in the community we have trained volunteers to help you through that grieving process and to help him. I wish we would have had it back then.”

Last year’s walk raised about $43,000.