18th annual event benefits end-of-life patients, families
RANDOLPH, Vt., June 23, 2023—A Vermont summertime tradition continues Aug. 12, 18 and 19 with the 18th annual Last Mile Ride, Run and Walk at Gifford Medical Center. The three-day event includes a fundraising motorcycle ride, bicycle ride, 5K run, and 1- and 2-mile walks, all to support end-of-life care for patients and their families.
Last year, 560 Last Mile participants and 50 business sponsors raised $187,000 to support end-of-life care for central Vermonters, bringing the grand total to more than $1,378,000 since the inaugural Last Mile in 2006. Funds raised help ease the end-of-life experience, support grieving families, and honor loved ones.
“This event has grown exponentially over the years, from our first motorcycle ride in 2006 to now with three days of activities to bring our community together and actively demonstrate our love and compassion for our neighbors and friends in life’s last mile,” said Ashley Lincoln, Gifford vice president of development and public relations.
“Each and every one of us on our team is deeply grateful for the opportunity to host and look forward to welcoming our 2023 riders, runners and walkers,” said Lincoln, who oversees Last Mile event coordination.
Expenses covered by Last Mile include alternative therapies for pain management, family meals and portraits, travel, estate planning, and more. The Last Mile team also fulfills unique wishes, including special events such as weddings and trips to Boston to see the Red Sox play.
“I’m honored to help shepherd these gifts,” said Lincoln. “They ease pain, provide comfort, and bring loved ones together.”
The Last Mile bicycle ride, featuring road and gravel routes, begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Randolph Recreation Field. Registration is $25 per person and includes snacks and water.
The walks and 5K run begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, with registration starting at 4:30 p.m. at Gifford Medical Center. Registration is $25 per person and includes pizza and other refreshments as well as live music by Something Reckless. Participants are encouraged to create teams with friends and family.
Registration for the motorcycle ride begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at Gifford. The entrance fee is $50 per driver, $75 per driver and passenger, and includes breakfast and a barbecue lunch. The ride, which starts at 10 a.m., takes participants on an 80-mile journey through central Vermont.
As in recent years, since the onset of COVID, there is a virtual option for individuals to participate from wherever they are located. Participants who preregister by July 10 receive a free T-shirt.
In addition to the scheduled events, funds are raised through a 50/50 raffle with multiple cash prizes as well as a raffle for a handmade quilt. For more information about Last Mile, including the full schedule, routes and registration, visit giffordhealthcare.org/lastmile or call 802-728-2380.
Gifford is a community hospital in Randolph, Vt., with family health centers in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, Randolph, and Rochester, 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; an adult day program; 49-unit independent living facility, and a nursing home. The hospital’s mission is to improve individual and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.