Leonardtown Hosts Annual Run and Walk for Hospice

April 11, 2017

Many small towns host some type of charity event. Leonardtown hosted the 22nd annual Run and Fun Walk for Hospice at the governmental center at 8:30 a.m. April 8.

The event, which began in 1996 to support the families of those in hospice care, started with a small team of individuals. One of these kind-hearted individuals was Jim Dicus, a current organizer of the race.

“I volunteered for hospice back then,” Dicus said, referring to the early-to-mid 1990s. “I really felt that it would be great to be able to help local people in that way.”

Dicus explained that he and the other volunteers aimed to help people who may not be able to pay for insurance, and thus are relying entirely on care from family members.

The race was divided into three simultaneous races. These were a Fun Walk, a 5k and a 10k.

The Hospice House was built  in 2009, by WM Davis,Inc., Wayne and his team continue to be generous supporters of hospice. The house itself has a total of 6 beds.

“It really is an event for the whole family,” Davis said. “I believe it is one of the best events St. Mary’s County has to offer.”

Davis has enjoyed assisting the organization so much that he directed his contracting company to renovate the actual house and increase the capacity for it during its 2009 renovation.

The event organizers estimated that between 35 and 40 people in total receive care inside the Hospice House. This number also includes any at-home receivers of Hospice House care. This is because some Hospice House volunteers work outside of the House itself.

A complimentary brunch for participants, volunteers and spectators included Maryland stuffed ham, barbecue food, hot dogs, soups and pasta salads. T-shirts were also given to racers.

The race organizers said more than $75,000 was raised as of this writing (April 8). All proceeds will benefit the Hospice House in caring for the terminally ill.

A former racer and longtime supporter of Run and Walk for Hospice also commented on the event’s impact and positivity in the community.

“Although I did not run this year, I ran for Hospice because the care really goes beyond that of the dying person,” said Paul Chasen, who ran in nearly every race since the event’s 1996 inaugural race day.

“People remember the care that hospice provided for their family,” event organizer Dicus said. “This event is a way to celebrate those loved ones.”

By Zach Filtz, for Southern Maryland News Net