Walkers brave inclement weather to show support for Rose Garden Hospice

Participants walk down 28th Street West on their way to the Alfred Jenkins Field House during the final leg of the second annual Hike for the Hospice. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The conditions weren’t perfect, but that didn’t stop Rose Garden Hospice supporters who came out for the second annual Hike for the Hospice on Saturday.

Participants braved cold winds and wet conditions while hiking five, 10 and 15 km trails to raise money for the project. Organizers were happy with the turnout, saying it shows just how important the hospice is to Prince Albert residents.

“This was not fun, walking today,” Rose Garden Hospice association board member Dennis Ulmer said with a laugh. “I’ve got four layers of clothing on and I still managed to get a bit cool, but everybody was upbeat.”

This year’s event raised roughly $25,000, with a matching donation set to come in on May 9. Last year, roughly 100 participants raised $8,658 for the hospice, an amount that was only exceeded by a $10,000 donation from Malcolm Jenkins and Canadian Tire.

Ulmer said that’s given them a solid foundation as they seek to raise between $4-million and $5-million for the project.

“We had a very good start,” he explained. “We had to get … a lot of things in order before we could legitimately go out and approach people for the construction costs that we are responsible for. We now have what we need in order to do that, so you are going to see us very often in fundraising events.”

The Rose Garden Hospice is a not for profit organization committed to providing care for terminally ill patients and their loved ones, with 24-hour nursing care and expert pain and symptom management. It will have 10 self-contained guest rooms and two self-contained family rooms for families to stay near their loved ones.

Ulmer said most people understand that babies need a lot of care when they’re born. What they don’t understand is that people need the same amount of care as they approach the end of their life. Rose Garden Hospice is designed to meet that need.

“We need that same type and level of care and comfort for people who are leaving this world,” Ulmer said. “That’s why we need a hospice. It’s going to be a tremendous addition to the healthcare system in our area.”