Gather family, friends and co-workers -- or come solo -- for Hope Hospice's ninth annual Hike for Hope taking place the morning of May 4 at Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore.
Hikers will take off between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. for the memorial hike fundraiser, which ends at 12:30 p.m.
"The Hike for Hope celebrates the joy and memories of our loved ones, and we encourage hikers to bring photos or mementos of their special person with them," Hope Hospice CEO Jennifer Hansen said.
For 40 years, Hope Hospice has provided comfort and compassion to patients and their families at the end of life, and it relies on the support of the hikers and the community to make this fundraising effort a success.
"This event raises funds for Hope Hospice," Hansen explained. "The net proceeds are used to care for the more than 2,000 area residents we serve each year."
Two trail options are available: a 2.6-mile round-trip route (which easily can be shortened) traveling along the lake and turning around at the Hetch Hetchy Group Camp; and a 4.4-mile loop hike with a moderate incline. The more difficult route follows along the Ridgeline and Hetch Hetchy trails, providing great views of the valley, lake and surrounding hills.
This year, hikers are invited to enjoy a complimentary barbecue sponsored by MCE Corp., or they can pack a picnic lunch to eat following their hike.
Early registration fee is $39 through this Tuesday (April 9); and $45 on or after Wednesday. Register at TheHikeForHope.com or by calling Hope Hospice at 829-8770 for a printed registration form. Children 12 years and younger hike for free but must register.
Some hikers put together teams and engage in spirited competition with others. Businesses also show their support through their sponsorships.
"This is a deeply rewarding event that supports the wonderful services that Hope Hospice, a nonprofit agency, provides to our friends and neighbors," said event chair Brian Kehoe, senior vice president of Heritage Bank of Commerce in Livermore. "I invite community members to join us as hikers or donors."
"It's not too late for more businesses to get involved as sponsors for this worthy event," he added.