Record number of participants surpass fundraising goal
The weather couldn’t have been better for the record-breaking 460 participants who gathered over the weekend for the Last Mile Ride in Randolph. A festive two-day fundraiser that supports unique end-of-life services at Gifford, the event surpassed its $100,000 fundraising goal and increased participation by 20 percent.
Ever since 74 motorcyclists rode the first Last Mile Ride in 2006, people have come to Randolph each August for this annual event. This year 273 people came to walk a 1 or 2.5-mile route or to run the timed 5K on Friday, and on Saturday 187 people gathered for a 75-mile motorcycle ride. Last Mile Ride grows every year as loyal supporters return with an expanding circle of friends and family.
“This compassionate group always assembles on the third week in August to recharge the batteries that bring comfort to end of life care at Gifford,” Gifford’s Development Director Ashley Lincoln told the crowd. “That dependable help on a predictable day—knowing that I’ll see you here next year—is key to our success.”
Last Mile Ride funds help people with advanced illness celebrate the time they have left with friends and loved ones, supporting patients in the hospital’s Garden Room suites and also those who choose to remain in their home. Lincoln noted that the unique needs of these patients and families are not predictable, and are never the same. Last Mile Ride funds provide flexibility, and an ability to think creatively when responding to individual situations.
On Friday evening groups of young children played on the grass while adults visited as they waited to cheer runners and walkers over the finish line. Everyone enjoyed cool drinks and pizza after the events as race results were announced and prizes awarded.
Top fundraisers Mark Elmore (5K) and Karen Safford (walk); and top male 5K finisher, John Mattern, and top female 5K finisher, Becky Olmstead, received gifts that included sneaker vouchers from Stateline Sports. Total race results are listed at http://802timing.com/results/16results/16results.html
On Saturday morning the last of a heavy mist had just lifted from the Gifford parking lot as 187 motorcycle riders, led by Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak, rumbled through town to start the 75-mile ride. Safety along the route was ensured by volunteers from the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, with the help of local police departments. An abundant BBQ lunch was waiting in Gifford Park when the riders returned several hours later.
Participants raise more than $102,000 to support end of life care
When all the donations were counted, participants had raised $102,270. Team fundraising efforts increased significantly this year, with 14 registered teams, and Gifford staff really turned out for the cause, with more than 70 employee participants.
Top fundraisers were Chip Milnor, Reg Mongeur, Robert Martin and Linda Chugkowski, and Todd Winslow. Top fundraiser prizes were: two tickets to a Boston Red Sox game, two tickets to the New England 300 NASCAR Cup Series at NH Motor Speedway, four Six Flags & The Great Escape day passes, and a Local Prize Package (two tickets to the New World Festival with a gift certificate to Saap Restaurant).
Last Mile Ride Raffle prize winners were:
- Brent Kay of Randolph won the Harley-Davidson donated by Wilkins Harley-Davidson in South Barre
- Penny Maxfield of East Roxbury, won the quilt made by Gifford nursing staff
- Jasmine Young and Nancy Sharpe won the toolbox donated by Randolph Auto Supply
Each year generous local business support plays a huge role in the event’s success. Forty-six businesses sponsored this year’s event, including major sponsors: The Frankenburg Agency, Northfield Savings Bank, Froggy 100.9, Neagley & Chase Construction Company, Lucky Trailer Sales, Mascoma Savings Bank, Barry Chouinard, and Wilkins Harley-Davidson of South Barre.
Read More about Gifford’s Last Mile ride on Gifford’s website, www.giffordmed.org/lastmileride. The 2017 Last Mile Ride will be Friday August 18 and Saturday August 19.