Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - May 2, 2014

Join the Hike for Hope

Hundreds take to the trail in memory of loved ones

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Just as Hope Hospice is there for 2,000 area residents dealing with end-of-life issues each year, hundreds of people join in the Hike for Hope to raise money for the organization and to remember loved ones.

This year's fourth annual Hike for Hope takes place the morning of May 10 at Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore beginning near the reservoir, which reportedly is full of water despite the low rainfall.

"One of our committee members went out there Easter Sunday, and said it's gorgeous," said Hope Hospice spokeswoman Patty Hefner.

The event is for individuals or groups, who sometimes dedicate the hike to the memory of a loved one, even carrying photos or mementos. Some companies like to compete against each other.

"The hike is pretty popular," Hefner said. "Last year we had about 700 people register, and we are hoping to have a similar number this year."

Starting times are from 8:30-10 a.m. and ending time is at noon. Various levels of hiking difficulty are offered, all with great views of the reservoir.

"The hike is for anybody, families, individuals, people who just want to stroll and take it easy or it can be more serious," Hefner noted. "People have taken kids in strollers."

There are two trails: One is 2.6 miles and the other continues for a total of 4.4 miles with a moderate incline that loops around and returns. The first half-mile of the trail is paved.

KKIQ will set up a booth with games and prizes, and there will also be drawings.

"It's a nice social event," Hefner said. "We're encouraging people to stay and bring a picnic. There are so many places to picnic. If it's nice, they can go for a swim."

Visit www.TheHikeForHope.com to register; cost was $30 through April 24 then went up to $40, which includes a T-shirt and healthy snacks. It is also possible to register the day of the hike.

The proceeds are used to care for the residents served by Hope Hospice, which is located in Dublin and serves people from Livermore to Hayward to Walnut Creek.

"We provide care for people regardless of their ability to pay although most services are covered by Medicare or insurance," Hefner said. "We also provide grief support, whether they used hospice or not."

Hope Hospice has grief support groups for children, teens and adults as well as one-on-one counseling. For more information, visit hopehospice.com or call 829-8770.

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