Overall turnout for Sunday’s event was down compared to years previous due to the sunny weather, however that didn’t stop volunteers from putting their best foot forward for the event.
Kathleen Merk is the co-chair of the Palliative Care Society. She says that the event gives the group a platform to fundraise and bring awareness to the program.
“We need to have fundraisers because we have things that we donate to ourselves, and it’s also to raise awareness that we are here in FortSt. John,” she says. “It’s hard to get the attention of people because they haven’t heard of palliative care; more people are familiar with hospice. We do visiting not only in people’s homes but in the hospital as well.”
Merk says that the organization is there to provide support for families who have a loved one facing a life threatening illness.
“When a person reaches the stage of a life threatening illness, we will go in and visit them and read to them so they aren’t alone, because often they are afraid of being alone,” she says. “But it’s also a two-fold purpose, because often the main caregiver is worn out. We also give relief to them so they can go shopping or make a meal, knowing that their loved one is still being looked after.”
The money raised goes towards volunteer training, and donations towards the palliative care rooms in the hospital.