Barriere takes home Hospice Cup

Hospice House Bike Challenge 2011

(L to r) Bicycle riders Mary MacLennan

(L to r) Bicycle riders Mary MacLennan

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod, TNRD Area ‘O’ Director Bonnie Cruzelle Myram, District of Clearwater Mayor John Harwood, and District of Barriere Councillor Pat Paula were in attendance at the awarding of the Hospice Bike Challenge Cup in Little Fort on Sunday, Sept. 11.

This was the 3rd Annual Bike Challenge for Hospice House, which started with volunteers gathering “guesses” from dozens of North Thompson  Valley residents over the past month, who, for a $2 donation tried to guess the exact location on Highway 5 where the bike riders would intersect.

Whoever guessed the exact spot where the riders intersected (or was closest) was to be declared the winner and will have their name inscribed on the Hospice Cup; with all donations received going toward building a valley centralized Hospice House in Little Fort.

On site in Barriere to start the community’s rider’s on their way was Mayor Mike Fennell and MP Cathy McLeod.  Riders from Clearwater and Barriere each left their community at 1 p.m. to travel the Yellowhead Highway until they met up with the riders from the other direction.

Riders representing Barriere were; Drake Smith, Ward Stamer, Mary MacLennan, and Dennis Farquarson.  Clearwater riders were; RCMP Cpl. Chris Newel, Jean Nelson, and Mitch Miller who is from Birch Island.

The extremely hot day was a challenge for the riders who eventually met at the 26.82 km mark between the two communities.  The bike riders then traveled on to the Little Fort Community Hall for celebrations and the presentation of the Hospice Cup to the winning community.

Steve White, president of the newly formed North Thompson Valley Hospice Society, popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and poured some into the Hospice Challenge Cup.  He then encouraged Mayor Harwood to drink from the cup in recognition of last year’s Challenge winner who resided in Clearwater.

White thanked the Barriere and Clearwater Hospice Societies for all the good work they do, and especially for the way they are both working together to fundraise to build a Hospice House centralized in Little Fort.

“Thank you for putting your efforts into supporting the Hospice House,” White told the Challenge attendees, “This is just an idea, but stay with it and it will become a reality.”

MP Cathy McLeod noted that she felt a Hospice House was a very worthwhile project, especially as she had a background in health care.  “Having worked in a hospital I can speak from experience when I say a hospital is a great place for surgery and acute care services; but a more gentle place where we will end our lives is very important,” said McLeod, “This is a really valuable thing that you are doing – nursing care and comfort in the community where you live.  I look forward to cutting the ribbon in the future, and lend my support to this project.”

McLeod then announced the name of Barriere resident Cathy Frezell, as being the person who had guessed the winning kilometre meeting point for the Bike Challenge of 2011.

In celebration of Barriere being the winning community for the current year, Councillor Pat Paula also drank champagne from the Cup saying, “As Acting Mayor, on behalf of Barriere I thank all of the riders in this Challenge and fully support this very worthwhile project.”

White noted that the District of Barriere will hold the Cup at their office for 30 days, and that TNRD Director CruzelleMyram will take the Cup to a TNRD meeting as well.

Organizers of the 2011 Hospice House Bike Challenge report 340 guesses ($680) were received, and  over $3,000 (which included a few corporate donations and cash donations) was raised.  In three years the annual Bike Challenge for Hospice House has raised approximately $10,000 for this worthwhile cause.