The weekend car rally hopes to raise $ 200,000 for the Foothills Country Hospice Society


CALGARY – It’s a chance for many gearheads to show off their vehicles, but also a fun way to raise money for a good cause.

80 drivers have registered for the fourth Rally 4 Hospice, which is a little different from other rallies, according to the organizer and hospice development and communication officer Stephanie Barnes.

This is because you won’t get a map for the entire route.

“You start in the hospice, we bring all the cars down our hospice alley and you get a series of clues,” said Barnes. “You have to answer the quiz questions and follow the clues to get to the next checkpoint. If you’re successful, you’ll get more clues and so on, so you really have to have a keen navigator with you.”

In its four year history, the event has raised $ 800,000. The eight bed Foothills Country Hospice Society facility is located near Okotoks.

“We have seven hospices in the Calgary Zone,” said managing director Dawn Elliott. “We are one of them and these are places people can come to die and it comes as a surprise to people because they don’t know that there is no cost to stay.”

Elliott says the hospice receives 57 percent of its funding from Alberta Health Services and is expected to raise the remaining $ 1.3 million each year.

The Rally 4 Hospice is its largest annual fundraising event.

“This is a place of joy and happiness,” said Elliott. “There is no doom or darkness and we celebrate everyone who comes through our doors.

“We support our residents (and) their families,” she added. “We celebrate birthdays, we celebrate anniversaries, (and) we had weddings on site.

“It’s a magical, wonderful place.”

Sue Archibald knows firsthand the care in the hospice. Her husband Garth Pritchard joined the facility in early 2020.

“I was absolutely blown away by the whole area, the atmosphere is not a hospital,” said Archibald. “It’s like being in a country house, the professional staff are compassionate.”

Garth’s stay at the facility was only two weeks.

“When he died, I knew I wanted to support this place,” said Archibald. “When I found out about the rally, the planets were exactly in place.”

Archibald says that’s because her husband was a bit of a “gearhead” and loved cars. Before he died, he bought his dream car, a Mini Cooper. Archibald entered the 2020 rally with the Mini and invited Garth’s friends to take part.

“We had an entourage of 11 cars here,” said Archibald. “I couldn’t have a funeral for Garth because of the pandemic, so this is my way of celebrating Garth’s life with his friends, with his Mini, having a good time.”

Find out more about the Rally 4 Hospice here: www.countryhospice.org

About Veronica Richards

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