SOMC’s Hike for Hospice takes steps to support local patients and their families


By Kasie McCreary - [email protected]



Participants in a previous Hike for Hospice set off to begin the walk. Unlike in years’ past, this year’s Hike will begin and end at the SOMC Friends Center.

Participants in a previous Hike for Hospice set off to begin the walk. Unlike in years’ past, this year’s Hike will begin and end at the SOMC Friends Center.


File photo

Hike for Hospice traditionally features a balloon release prior to the walk in honor of participants’ loved ones touched by hospice care.


File photo

PORTSMOUTH—Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Hike for Hospice is set for Saturday, June 18 at the SOMC Friends Center.

Although the event was sidelined in the past due to the COVID pandemic, organizers are hoping for a large turnout as the annual event resumes.

Proceeds from the hike benefit SOMC’s Hospice Caritas Fund, which supports patients with life limiting illnesses and their families, according to a press release from SOMC. The fund ensures that hospice patients and their families have the support they need to navigate the complexities of end of life care.

Ann Luther, Coordinator of Hospice Relations, explained in the press release that this event is a valuable way for the community to support the cause.

“Hike for Hospice is a way for those who have been touched by SOMC Hospice to give back while celebrating the memory of their loved one,” Luther said.

Registration for the event will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the morning of the hike. Participants are scheduled to begin the course at 9:30 a.m.

In the past, Hike for Hospice began at the Hospice Center, however this year the course will begin and end at the SOMC Friends Center, located at 1202 18th Street in Portsmouth.

The features of the course have also changed this year. Rather than featuring a hilly route, the course this year is a relatively flat, 3.2 mile walk, ensuring a more accessible route for participants of all ages.

A balloon release symbolic for the respective memory of each participant’s loved one(s) will take place before the participants begin the walk.

While registering for the event is free, individuals are encouraged to donate to the Hospice Caritas Fund to provide hospice patients and their families with the support they need during hospice care. T-shirts commemorating the 2022 hike will also be available for purchase in the SOMC Main Lobby through June 2 from 7a.m. until 3p.m.

The Hospice Caritas Fund helps to make a positive difference in the lives of hospice patients and their families. According to SOMC’s Development Foundation, the fund helps in providing local patients “with the comfort, support and care they deserve in a time when they need it most.”

Mary Arnzen, Major Gift & Planned Giving Officer of SOMC’s Development Foundation, explained that the Hospice Caritas Fund receives financial support from this event through business sponsorships, sales of t-shirts, and individual donations.

Those unable to attend the event can donate individually to the fund by visiting SOMC’s Development Foundation online at somc.org/development.

For those attending the walk, Arnzen said that the Hike for Hospice allows for grieving families to come together in meaningful way.

“The hike is a lot more than just raising money. It is sometimes part of the grieving process. A lot of families will get together and do this in memory of their loved one. They might even buy the same shirts and all wear the same shirt[s] with their name[s] on the back. It’s a healing thing as much as it is anything for families who have been touched by hospice,” Arnzen said.

The Hike for Hospice will begin and end at the SOMC Friends Center, 1202 18th Street in Portsmouth. Registration is free and begins at 8:30 a.m. with the walk scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

Those seeking additional information regarding donations or the Hike for Hospice may call (740) 356-5609.

Participants in a previous Hike for Hospice set off to begin the walk. Unlike in years’ past, this year’s Hike will begin and end at the SOMC Friends Center.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/06/web1_HIKE1.jpgParticipants in a previous Hike for Hospice set off to begin the walk. Unlike in years’ past, this year’s Hike will begin and end at the SOMC Friends Center. File photo

Hike for Hospice traditionally features a balloon release prior to the walk in honor of participants’ loved ones touched by hospice care.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/06/web1_HIKE2.jpgHike for Hospice traditionally features a balloon release prior to the walk in honor of participants’ loved ones touched by hospice care. File photo

By Kasie McCreary

[email protected]

Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved