Contributed photo (above): Team Parade of Perseverance. The team is walking again this year in the Hike for Bethell Hospice in memory of Dave Craughwell.
It’s been five years since Anita Schenk has heard her husband Dave’s familiar laughter. But each year since he passed she has found giving back to her community to be a warm and meaningful acknowledgement to his life.
The week that Dave Craughwell spent at Bethell in March of 2018 was the first time that Anita had heard about the Hike for Bethell Hospice.
“Together, we came up with a name for our team and decided to hike that year” she says. “It was an intensely emotional event with lots of family and friends attending and it was almost like a celebration of his life all over again!”
The following year Anita was unsure about whether she could repeat the hike. “Due to that level of emotion, I debated doing it the next year but decided I wanted to support Bethell and give back. Now, five years later, it has become such an important annual event. We really come together as a team to honour and remember Dave.”
This year Anita also organized the first-ever Memory Bonspiel at the Orangeville Curling Club. The sold-out bonspiel recognized loved ones who have passed, and proceeds were divided between the curling club and Bethell Hospice Foundation.
Teams were asked to submit photos of those for whom they were curling in memory of, and these photos were displayed on the TV screen throughout the day while loved ones’ favourite songs were played. A silent auction contributed to the overall success of the event.
Anita, who is now also a landscape volunteer at Bethell Hospice, tending the gardens on the property, is excited about this year’s Hike for Hospice in coming up on May 7th. She remains Hike Captain for team Parade of Perseverance, a nod to Dave’s love of elephants, of whom a group is defined as a parade.
“I am always amazed at the fundraising we do that includes far-away friends and family. It is very humbling. The day of the hike is the best though! Seeing Dave’s former work-mates and our local friends come together and share special memories is something I am always grateful for. There is a connectedness that is very difficult to describe. It’s a connectedness I wish for all who have lost a special person!”
Approximately $1.5 million must be fundraised each year to keep the doors open at Bethell Hospice for all of those in need and at no cost. You can join the hike www.hikeforbethellhospice.ca or donate to team Parade of Perseverance at https://bhf.akaraisin.com/ui/Hike2023/t/938ee3405790401dbd1a647dbcc0dde0
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