The Maine Hospice Council and Center for End of Life Care (Council) is extending an invitation to each hospice program to participate in our annual bike ride. The Maine Hospice Event, formerly known as the Dan Michaud Memorial Bike Ride, is normally held on the last Saturday in August beginning and ending at the gazebo in Brunswick.
More than twenty years ago five riders started the event, honoring their friend who died of cancer, and raising thousands of dollars over the years for various non-profits.
Eight years ago the Maine Hospice Council was approached and asked to take the event statewide. The Council has continued this annual event to the enjoyment of all who participate. A day of good food, exercise and camaraderie seems to be balm for the soul! Plus, increased awareness of hospice benefits the community.
The ultimate goal of the planning committee is to have all hospice programs engage in a hospice event in their respective communities on the same day each year. Now, more than ever, we need to combine our energies and efforts to create broader awareness of these important issues.
Having everyone set aside the same day each year, there is a greater opportunity to:
- Bring media attention to hospice
- Increase public awareness
- Make printed materials more readily available to the public
- Engage community members in discussions about end of life resources
Hospice programs would not need to do the same kinds of events. Information booths, pot luck suppers, fundraisers, or any number of other creative ideas – whatever fits with your community. Or, you can just put a team together and ride with us.
I hope each hospice program will give this idea some thought for future planning. Let’s consider setting aside one day statewide to have fun, engage our communities and focus attention on this wonderful work.
If any of you have ideas, comments or concerns, please email the Council. Together we can accomplish great things! Thank you.
Kergan P. Thomann