VALPARAISO | The Visiting Nurse Association's 12th annual Stroll for Hospice is May 5. Registration begins at noon and the stroll steps off at 1 p.m. at the VNA Phoenix Center, 501 Marquette St.
Advance registration is available online at www.firstgiving.com/vnaportercounty, or by phone at (219) 531-8049. Registration is $10 per walker, with children 18 and under free. Teams of six or more may register for $50 per team.
The year 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the VNA Hospice program.
As part of the year long celebration, the VNA invites anyone in the community who has lost a loved one or been touched by VNA Hospice to walk and remember. The route is approximately three miles long, and the pace is slow and easy. Special signs in memory of walkers’ loved ones are available for anyone collecting donations or pledges of $100 or more. The signs will be placed along the walking path on Vale Park Road and Valparaiso Street.
“I’ve talked to several people who haven’t been to the Stroll in awhile, and they plan to be back this year to help celebrate Hospice. One family has lost several family members over the last few years and is bringing the kids and grandkids to walk in memory of each of their loved ones because it’s such a special year,” said Maria Galka, vice president of Fund Development for the VNA. “With children free and the cost of a team of six or more only $50, it’s a great family friendly way to support Hospice and honor the memory of people you love and miss.”
After the stroll, walkers are invited to stay for the celebration cookout and awards ceremony. This year’s celebration will include tented seating, serenading from the Sweet Adelines and a DJ. Because the Stroll is on May 5, Cinco de Mayo, there will also be piñatas for the kids and Culver’s will be dipping fresh frozen custard.
Awards will be given to both the team and the individual who raises the most in sponsorships and to the team and individual with the highest number of sponsors. Participants have the option of creating their own personal fundraising page in memory of their loved ones to help raise pledges when they register online at www.firstgiving.com/vnaportercounty.
“We’ve seen some pretty special pages over the years. People are able to post pictures of their loved ones and include their story on the page,” said Monica Hamline, VNA event coordinator. “And, with social media, those pages can be shared with friends and family all over the country.”
The 2013 Silver Sponsor of the Stroll for Hospice is Porter Regional Hospital. Additional sponsors include Smiles by Arnold, Margaret Heinold, Indiana Beverage, Culver’s, Town & Country, FirstCare and Emerson Power Transmission Corp.
To support the VNA Hospice program, mail donations to the VNA Foundation, 2401 Valley Dr., Valparaiso, IN 46383. For more information, visit the VNA website at www.VNAportercounty.org or call the VNA at (219) 462-5195.