(With files from James Bowler – Your TV)

Dozens of people in Huntsville participated in the 10th Annual Hike for Hospice.

It took place at River Mill Park earlier today. Organizer Melissa Polischuk of Huntsville Hospice says even though it is a national event it is very important locally.

“We have thousands of other people across Canada hiking all in support of their local hospices and palliative care units,” she says. “All of the money raised (locally) today will stay directly at Hospice Huntsville.”

The goal locally is in excess of $55,000.

This family fundraising event creates awareness about the need for compassionate end of life care and celebrates the donations made to support this need. A special Celebration of Life gathering space provided an opportunity to remember loved ones.

Huntsville Hospice provides support services and volunteer visitation among other activities.

Polischuk says the community is vital to Algonquin Grace Residential Hospice.

“We always say it’s the house the community built,” she says. “The money we had raised by individuals, by businesses, it was incredible.”

Polischuk points out that aside from the fundraising aspect of events like Hike for Hospice, letting the community know the service is available is just as important.

“Really we need to be providing community awareness of what Hospice does,” she says. “The support we have from our hikers that come out, our donors and our sponsors is just amazing.”

If you missed donating to the event today, you can give at any point through the rest of the month by visiting the Hospice website.