14th annual event benefits end-of-life patients, families
RANDOLPH, Vt.—A central Vermont tradition continues Aug. 16-17 with Gifford’s 14th annual Last Mile Ride to support end-of-life care for patients and their families. The two-day, family-friendly event includes a motorcycle ride, 5K run, and 1- and 2-mile walks to raise funds for palliative care and special services.
Last year, the Last Mile Ride’s 415 participants and 53 business sponsors raised $110,000 to support end-of-life care for central Vermonters, bringing the grand total to more than $760,000 since the inaugural LMR in 2006. Proceeds are used to help ease the end-of-life experience and support grieving families.
“We are deeply moved by the generosity of the many community members who turn out each summer for the Last Mile Ride, showing their support for our friends and neighbors during a vulnerable time in their lives,” said Gifford Director of Development Ashley Lincoln, who takes the lead on coordinating the event. “Each year we welcome new and familiar faces— riders, runners, walkers, volunteers, business sponsors and donors. We are honored to host them and shepherd their gifts.”
Services supported by the Last Mile Ride include massage and acupuncture for pain management, music therapy, catered meals, family legacy photo shoots, and more. The LMR also fulfills unique wishes, including in previous years paid travel expenses for family members to visit a loved one, a trip to a Red Sox game, estate planning, and several weddings.
“The gifts made possible by the Last Mile Ride make a meaningful difference for local patients and their loved ones, whether by helping them celebrate their time together or providing comfort at the end of life,” said Lincoln. “We look forward to another amazing event this year, one that is not only a fun summertime tradition but also an opportunity to give back and ensure these unique services are available to more people in our community.”
The LMR walks and 5K run begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, with registration starting at 4:30 p.m., at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph. The registration fee is $25 per person. Participants are encouraged to create teams with friends and family.
Registration for the motorcycle ride begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Gifford. The entrance fee is $50 per driver; $75 per driver and passenger. The ride, which starts at 10 a.m., takes participants on an 80-mile journey through central Vermont.
Participants who preregister for the Last Mile Ride by Aug. 1 will receive a free T-shirt.
In addition to the scheduled events, funds are raised through raffles for a motorcycle from Wilkins Harley-Davidson in South Barre and a quilt made by Gifford nurse Dawn Decoff. For more information about the Last Mile Ride, including routes and registration, visit lastmileride.com, follow on Facebook @LastMileRide, or call 802-728-2380.
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Gifford is a community hospital in Randolph, Vt., with family health centers in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, Randolph, Rochester, and White River Junction; and specialty services throughout central Vermont. A Federally Qualified Health Center and a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country, Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department and inpatient unit; many surgical services; a day care; two adult day programs; and the 30-bed Menig Nursing Home, which was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best 39 nursing homes in the country in 2012. The Birthing Center, established in 1977, was the first in Vermont to offer an alternative to traditional hospital-based deliveries, and continues to be a leader in midwifery and family-centered care. The hospital’s mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.