Senior leads the hike pack
Age is just a number for Edna Coughlan.
Every day, the 80-year-old Coquitlam resident keeps her body active by taking part in walking or exercise groups. She also keeps her mind fit by being social with her neighbours, many of whom have supported her on her quest to raise funds for the Crossroads Hospice Society.
In 2010, her husband Tom died of cancer at Crossroads' Port Moody hospice and Coughlan was grateful for the care she and her family received there. Coughlan saw how others in grief got counselling and found peace in the Crossroads' healing garden.
This year, as in the past seven years, the grandmother of two posted notices on the bulletin board at her seniors' condo building to advertise she would again be in the Hike for Hospice, an annual event that collects cash for Crossroads' programs and services.
To date, Coughlan has brought in $6,000 for the organization — plus $1,100 for this year's hike. In 2012 and ’13, she took home the prize for top individual fundraiser.
"We have all lost people here. We are all friends and in this building, we look after each other," she said. "We are very, very supportive and the money just comes under my door."
Shannon Gandy, Crossroads' special events and support volunteer co-ordinator, said Coughlan's efforts go a long way. Last year's 300 hike participants — many of whom have also lost a loved one at the hospice — generated $60,000 for operational needs.
Co-hosted by the Port Moody and Port Coquitlam Rotary clubs and sponsored in part by The Tri-City News, the Hike for Hospice on Sunday, May 4 takes a 5 km route from Port Moody city hall to the Rocky Point pier and back; it starts at 10 a.m.
"We're encouraging walkers to bring their pets on leashes as well," Gandy said, noting prizes will be handed out to best-dressed animal.
Advance registration is also encouraged to collect pledges online, she said.
• Entry is $10 per person or $25 for a family or company team. Visit hike4hospice.ca or call 604-945-0606 for more information.