LEONARDTOWN, Md. – On April 15, 2023, the 26th Annual Run and Fun Walk For Hospice was held at the Governmental Center in Leonardtown.
The event elevates public awareness of the Hospice mission of providing compassionate care to those in our community diagnosed with a life-ending illness. The event also raises funds to offset the cost of providing care to those with little or no end-of-life insurance coverage.
This year, roughly 1500 people participated in the run/walk.
“As a young hospice patient-care volunteer, I came to understand there are two truths in life; every life, every person is unique – from the DNA in their blood & bones to the hopes & dreams in their hearts. And the hardest thing every one of these unique people will ever have to do is face death and dying – their own or someone they love,” Jim Dicus, the event’s Founder and Director, told TheBayNet.com. “The experiences I shared with my patients inspired me to start the event so that others in our community would know about Hospice care. I’ve had many people tell me because of this event they knew about hospice and hospice helped them and their families tremendously.”
The run/walk had many options, such as a 10K run, a 5K run, and a fun walk. Following the runs and walk, there was an after-party of food.
“It’s an amazing event to witness – it’s a celebration of community and of life. And the community comes together to make it happen. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, The State Highway, EMS, Town of Leonardtown & Hospice Staff work together to coordinate the event,” explained Dicus. “There are many companies & businesses who participate and wear special shirts for the occasion. There are also families & friends of a loved one who was in hospice care who they celebrate and remember. It’s an opportunity for families to give back to an organization that helped them through the most difficult time. And it’s also an opportunity to remember, commemorate & celebrate that precious life.”
Dicus then went on to explain what his favorite part of the event was.
“Seeing the people cheer and encourage each other,” said Dicus. “In the end, money & status don’t matter – they are cold & indifferent and of little comfort. We only have each other & kindness is what is important. To see the kindness is amazing. I’m on a microphone at the finish line trying to call as many names as I can and I get more hugs on race day than any other day. To see a grown man shed tears of gratitude for an organization that helped his family is an amazing & powerful thing to witness.”
“Southern Maryland is a wonderful place to live; it’s a community that takes care of its own & the display of community support for our neighbors facing a terminal illness is truly AMAZING. Some of the best local restaurants prepare and donate stuffed ham, soups, pasta salads, SPECIFICALLY for this event. Companies & businesses support the event – they sponsor, create teams of their employees and walk together.”
If you would like to stil donate to the event, you can visit http://runforhospice.org/. 100% of all proceeds stays in Southern Maryland.
“Many individuals who make a donation. I truly believe the best investment a person will ever make in their life isn’t in stocks or markets. It’s in their community and a neighbor in their ultimate time of need,” says Dicus.
Dicus then went on to explain why he believes this event is one of the most important events in all of Southern Maryland.
“I had a call a few weeks ago from a community leader I’ve always admired; he said ‘Jimmy do you realize that many in our community view this event on par with The County Fair & Oyster Festival.’ And I was humbled because I love both of those institutions. But then I realized our event is more important to those in their ultimate time of need. I’m so grateful for our community.”
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