The Wheatland and Area Hospice Society is hosting its seventh annual Hype! for Hospice with a fire truck pull and Hospice wine raffle on May 5. 

The Hike for Hospice is an annual event held in May during National Palliative Care Week. It is one of many hikes held throughout the country.  

"This is the first time we've combined three events: the hike, fire truck pull, and raffle. We're really looking forward to having a good time with our community," said the Wheatland and Area Hospice Society Chair, Dr. Joni McNeely. 

According to Dr. McNeely, the turnout for the hike and the fire truck pull is usually around 100 people. This year, they are hoping for more.

"It's always weather dependent, and so many wonderful events are happening in the spring. It's it's difficult to estimate what the turnout will come down to." 

This will be the second year of the fire truck pull, and Dr. McNeely encourages everyone to come down and try it. 

"They'll probably be about six teams of local firefighters. Other groups are putting in teams, so if anybody wants to get ten people together, we're also allowing walk-ups, and you will be pulling a fire truck 100 feet." 

There will be trophies for the most money raised and the fastest time. Last year, the Strathmore High School (SHS) rugby team won the pull. 

As for how much money they hope to raise, Dr. McNeely says the Wheatland and Area Hospice Society is very modest. 

"Normally, we set a goal of $20,000. Last year, we raised over $32,000. It is just dependent on the donations that we get from people."

Donations will be accepted until a week after the event, and then the fundraising shifts to Farming for Hospice. 

Hype! for Hospice is trying to up its game on the entertainment side of things for the event. 

"The Holy Cross Collegiate Drumline has committed to coming to the event. Drew Gregory has offered to perform if he isn't in a tractor seeding. We have some food trucks showing up and maybe some animals, so it is a family event."

The hike will involve two different paths. 

"So the options are to hike around Kinsman Park, which is a short 1.4 kilometers, or the longer hike around Gray's Park, which is 5 kilometers. Then everybody will return to Kinsman Park at 2 p.m. for the fire truck pull." 

Hype! for Hospice will be held at Kinsmen Park at 11 a.m. on May 5. Registration will occur for around an hour. 

"We're so appreciative of everybody chipping in and helping out. It exemplifies that Hospice is not just for the dying but also a community movement to take care of each other."

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