By Kyle LoJacono
Gulfside Regional Hospice’s sixth annual Hike for Hospice has a new home.
The annual fundraiser for hospice care had been at Wesley Chapel District Park, but Gulfside spokeswoman Ashley Juno said organizers wanted a more centralized location.
Rasmussen College, 18600 Fernview Street in Land O’ Lakes, will now host the hike, which brought out 500 runners for the 5-kilometer race last year.
“Our hikers travel from all over the Tampa Bay area, with most coming from Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough,” said Carla Armstrong, Gulfside’s fundraising manager. “Located near the crossroads of several major highways, the Rasmussen College location is the perfect location for all of our hikers — whether they’re traveling near and far — to gather together in support of Gulfside Regional Hospice.”
The event is set for Nov. 11, with the run starting at 8 a.m. and registration an hour before. The 5K walk is at 9 a.m. with awards following.
“Racers and walkers of all ages and abilities — individuals, groups and families — are invited to participate in the Hike for Hospice,” said Gulfside president and CEO Linda Ward. “The goal of the Hike for Hospice is to increase awareness of hospice care in our community during National Hospice Month in November, as well as remember and honor our loved ones.”
Along with the new location, the event will have a special theme because of the date it falls on — Veterans Day. The We Honor Veterans program will be highlighted as participants run and walk the course.
All proceeds from the Hike for Hospice are designated for patients and their families facing life-limiting illnesses in Pasco County while supporting programs at Gulfside’s hospice houses and bereavement centers. The event has raised more than $250,000 since it began in 2007, according to Juno.
The event was first at New Port Richey Aquatic Center and was split between the West Pasco County location and Zephyr Park in Zephyrhills in Year 2. It moved to Wesley Chapel District Park in 2009.
To register for this year’s hike, visit www.firstgiving.com/Hikeforhospice or call (800) 561-4883. Registration is $25 for adults, $15 for students and $5 for children 10 and younger. All hikers will receive a T-shirt, snack and beverages.
For more information about Gulfside, call (727) 845-5707 or visit www.GRHospice.org.