LAND O’ LAKES — Hike for Hospice will add a salute to veterans and expand activities for youngsters during the annual benefit for Gulfside Regional Hospice on Nov. 10, organizers said.
The 2013 Hike, presented by Bouchard Insurance, includes both a 5K Run and 5K Walk at Rasmussen College, 18600 Fernview St., along S.R. 54 between Suncoast Parkway and U.S. 41 in Land O’ Lakes.
Hundreds of people typically participate in the event.
“Hike for Hospice is designed to celebrate and honor the lives of friends and family members,” said Linda Ward, president and CEO of Gulfside Regional Hospice. “I run in memory of my father, who passed away in Gulfside’s care. The Hike is for people just like you and me – who want to honor the memory of a loved one and make every day count for those facing a serious illness.”
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike Alstott will be on hand before the event to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
The expanded youth area will offer face painting, bounce house, Kids Dash and more.
Since the event takes place over Veterans Day weekend, special recognition is planned for local veterans. A representative from the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs will be on hand to answer questions about veterans’ claims. A thank you postcard table will allow participants to send messages to veterans for their service to America.
All proceeds from the Hike for Hospice are designated for patients and their families facing life-limiting illnesses in Pasco County, as well as support programs at Gulfside’s Hospice Houses and Bereavement Centers.
Since 2007, the hike has raised more than $250,000 for Gulfside.
Registration and check-in begins at 7 a.m. The 5K Run begins promptly at 8 a.m., and the traditional 5K Walk commences at 9 a.m.
After the run and walk conclude, both the top fundraisers and the fastest runners receive prizes.
To avoid long lines, organizers encourage participants to register in advance online at www.firstgiving.com/hikeforhospice/2013 or by calling, toll free, (800) 561-4883.
Registration fees cost $25 for adults, $15 for students 11 years old through college and $10 for children 10 and under. All hikers receive a T-shirt, breakfast and beverages with their registration.
Gulfside serves more than 375 patients daily. The hospice employs more than 250 professionals assisted by more than 550 volunteers.