Nipissing Serenity Hospice’s Hike From Home for Hospice event raised over $57,000 during its two-month-long fundraiser.

Unlike previous years where teams would raise money leading up to a group walk at the Laurier Conservation Area, this year’s event was virtual. Teams were asked to raise money then perform a walk or some form of physical activity over Thanksgiving weekend, being urged to post to social media.

Gil Pharand, Executive Director of the hospice, says that the participation was on-par with previous years and is pleased with the result of the virtual event.

“We really didn’t know what to expect when we got moving forward on this and to see this type of support – it doesn’t surprise us because this is a very generous community and region. Obviously, we’re very excited and honoured that so many people supported us,” he said.

Pharand says that there were 22 teams signed up through the hospice’s website for the fundraiser, estimating around 200 people participated in total.

Nipissing Serenity Hospice is 60 percent funded from the provincial government, needing to fill the remainder of its costs through fundraising efforts. The hospice was also the recipient of this year’s Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign in September, the results of which will be revealed at a later date.

The hospice is currently in its first year at its new facility on John Street. In that short time, the facility has already seen 60 residents come through for end-of-life support. Pharand says that recently, the hospice centre has thrown Halloween and Christmas parties for some of its patients.

Pharand says that the community support garnered through the recent fundraising efforts shows the importance of the hospice in the community.

“It’s great to be recognized and to be valued in the community and to be seen as a necessary service that’s provided,” Pharand said, adding that the first year in the new facility has been “beyond our wildest dreams and imagination.”

Fundraising is still open and donations can be made by visiting www.nipissingserenityhospice.ca/hike.