The community has a chance to walk along the Grand River while raising funds for a local hospice program.

The first annual Waterfront Walk for Hospice of North Ottawa Community will take place Saturday, Sept. 21, beginning at the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by a welcome and warm-up at 9:30 a.m. The walk will officially get underway at 9:45 a.m.

To participate, it costs $30 per person; $10 for ages 6-12. Entry fees include the walk, T-shirt, refreshments and snacks. Children ages 5 and younger are free, but they won’t receive a T-shirt. 

Participants can register in person on the morning of the event or in advance at noch.org. Anyone with questions can call 616-847-5605.

The 2.5-mile route will take participants from the stadium, along the Grand River, to the lighthouse and back.

Heritage Senior Communities is the walk’s premier sponsor. CareLinc and Shape Corp. are also event sponsors.

While the local hospice organization has held more formal events in the past, they wanted to engage the community in a fun, casual event that celebrates life, according to Kim Holton, director of hospice and palliative care.

Funds raised through the walk will go toward complimentary services such as growing the agency’s music, message and pet therapies. Funding will also go toward “mindfulness” training for staff, which Holton said will help them with their hard work and providing care to patients and families.

“We want to be a well-balanced holistic service to our community,” Holton said.

With the walk taking place in the morning, Holton noted that families can make a day of being downtown by attending the ArtWalk Family Art Day. That event runs from 12-2 p.m. in the Municipal Marina parking lot.

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