Walk to Remember provides meaningful way to celebrate loved ones
Residents of Westlake and Bay Village are encouraged to gather family and friends and save the date for 2017 Walk to Remember sponsored by Huntington Bank. Now in its sixth year, the event will take place on Sunday, June 11, at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Funds raised help Hospice of the Western Reserve provide special services in local communities including pediatric hospice and palliative care, the granting of patient wishes through the "Moments to Remember" program, grief support camps for children, art and music therapy and much more.
The event is open to anyone in the community wishing to honor the memory of a loved one or a caregiver; they need not have received hospice care. Thousands of walkers will come together to celebrate life while paying tribute to their loved ones.
Registration will open at 7:30 a.m., with the opening ceremony beginning at 8:45 a.m. The Walk will begin at 9 a.m. (Choose from 1 mile and 3 mile options.) A closing ceremony will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m., featuring food, fun and festivities at the Palava Pavilion. Registration is $12 for children, $25 for adults and $65 for family (includes two adults and three children ages 4-12; children 3 and under are free). It includes all-day admission to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest, T-shirt, live musical entertainment and much more.
“We are grateful for the tremendous support we receive from our local communities,” said Westlake resident and Hospice of the Western Reserve volunteer Ann Kalt. “Walk to Remember is such an inspirational experience. There are frequently multiple generations within families coming together to walk in memory of their loved ones. After the Walk, families are free to stay and enjoy the rest of the day exploring the Zoo and Rainforest.” Kalt said she became a volunteer to “pay it forward” and help support other hospice families. Her mother-in-law received care at Ames Family Hospice House and her father also received hospice care from the nonprofit agency several years ago.
New this year, for every $100 raised or donated to Walk to Remember, one of eight adorable "Comfort Buddies" will be given to a Hospice of the Western Reserve patient. Comfort Buddies provide reassurance and meaning to a variety of patients, from young children to those with memory impairment. The soft, plush animals improve patient experience by reducing agitation and restlessness and providing an overall sense of wellbeing. Each Comfort Buddy is infused with a calming lavender scent. The adorable stuffed animals are weighted to provide a sense of security and to reduce fall risks when placed on the lap of a patient. Comfort Buddies can also be heated in the microwave to provide additional warmth and coziness. While donors will not receive an actual Comfort Buddy, clinical caregivers will be personally presenting them to Hospice of the Western Reserve patients and their families.
Once again this year, walkers and donors will be able to purchase and sell Honor Signs for $250. Honor Signs will be placed along the walk route to commemorate loved ones and can be taken home after the walk by family members. Walk to Remember sponsorship opportunities are also still available at all levels. For more information, contact Bridget Murphy.
Laurie Henrichsen is Public/Media Relations Manager for Hospice of the Western Reserve.