The Greater Trail Hospice Society is holding its annual swim–a–thon fundraiser next Thursday at the Trail Aquatic Centre.
“This event is our major fundraiser of the year,” says society chair Brenda Hooper. “We’ve held this event most years since 1997 and rely on the funds generated to support our hospice programs.”
“I enjoy swimming, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a regular swimmer,” says local hospice supporter Heather Potter, who will be taking part in the 2023 swim–a–thon for the fourth consecutive year and hopes to surpass the $200 she raised in sponsorship for Hospice in last year’s event.
“The swim–a–thon is a great way to raise awareness and funds for an important local cause and get some exercise too. We all experience grief at some point in our lives and hospice was there to offer me compassion and support during one of my hardest times. This is my way of giving back to my community some of the kindness I received.”
Hooper, who is also taking part, says they will be on deck from noon until 8:30 p.m. on the day of the fundraiser to collect pledges and cheer everyone on.
“We hope that lots of people will join us as swimmers, sponsors and spectators to support this important work. Whether you stay dry, float, dogpaddle or aim for a personal best, let’s make some waves, and a difference, together.”
Hooper said while many people think hospice care is only for end-of-life, its purpose has evolved since it began in 1987. It now encourages people to take control earlier. Volunteers help people navigate chronic life-limiting illness and its associated isolation, complete advance care plans and support those who are grieving. Its legacy project and virtual reality glasses travel package also support people in reminiscing and looking back at their lives.
Anyone interest in taking part in the swim–a–thon can phone 250-364-6204 or email [email protected] to receive a swimmer’s pledge package. You can also sign up for the spring round of volunteer training for hospice services in March and April.
Donations to the swim–a–thon can be made online through Canada Helps via the hospice’s website: https://www.trailhosp