PORTSMOUTH — The success of the 2016 Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) Hike For Hospice is undeniable, despite the rainfall in Portsmouth Saturday. The event raised $94,752, and more than 1,000 people came out to show their support, according to Scott Hilbert, coordinator of the event.
Some had umbrellas opened, some wore rain ponchos, but the message was clear — rain will not stop the show. Scott Hilbert also serves as coordinator of SOMC Hospice Relations. He said he is amazed by the tremendous support for the hike from the community despite the rain.
“Our community always amazes me with their support. I am absolutely shocked by the turnout, especially with the rain being such a prominent factor. We know for a fact we are already nearing 1, 000 people, if not over 1,000 already,” Hilbert said. “Even in the midst of a lot of rain they still came out to support and we greatly appreciate it.”
Desiree Reeves participated in the hike, along with members of her family in memory of their mother who passed away this year as the result of pancreatic cancer.
“We are here to support the hike for our mom, Charlotte Chapman, who passed away in February due to pancreatic cancer,” Reeves said. “I think that it is awesome to have all of these people participating. We were excited about hiking this year. It serves as a source of healing for us.”
In addition to rides set up for kids to enjoy at the hike, music was provided by Justin’s DJ Services. Justin Rideout, owner of the music company, said he participates because the hike is something he believes in.
“I have lost a lot of family members that have gone through Hospice,” Rideout said. “I donate all of this because I believe in what they do and I try to support everything that I believe in.”
Participants of the hike raise funds by asking friends and/or family members to sponsor an amount per kilometer walked or by giving an outright donation.
“Hike for Hospice is a significant fundraiser for SOMC Hospice each year. The hike provides an opportunity for community members to gather together, honor their loved ones, and support an amazing organization,” Hospice Relations Hilbert said. “It always generates a large crowd for a great cause.”
With the remarkable results from this year’s hike, Hilbert said they are already looking forward to next year’s hike.
Prizes were distributed to all hikers and supporters the end of the hike. For more information, please call 740-356- 2567
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.