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Bridge to Hope walk returns to its roots

HOULTON, Maine — The Bridge to Hope Cancer Awareness Walk is returning to its roots as the group continues to raise money for local people battling the disease.

Traditionally held at the Gentle Memorial Building with a large, indoor ceremony, this year’s walk on Saturday, Oct. 16, will be held outside at Riverfront Park due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Aroostook County.

“This year we are going back to our original route, starting at Riverfront Park, across the Gateway Crossing Bridge and up through town,” explained Dee Butler Henderson, one of the members of Bridge to Hope. “Afterward, we will do our quilt raffle in the park.”

This year’s walk will technically be the 15th annual Bridge to Hope Cancer Awareness Walk in the Shiretown. Last year’s walk was canceled because of COVID-19 and in its place a “Cruisin for Cancer” ride was held instead. 

Once again, the generosity of County people did not disappoint as the motorcade event collected a whopping $16,050, shattering the goal of $15,000 to become the highest grossing fundraiser in the group’s history.

In 2019, the event drew 225 walkers to the Gentle Memorial Building and helped raise $12,306 for the Bridge to Hope group.

In preparation for the event, raffle tickets are now being sold for a beautifully decorated quilt, made by Pam Hocking, Amy Hocking and Peggy Crane. At 4.5-feet by 6.5-feet, the large quilt can be viewed at The County Co-Op and Farm Store, where tickets can also be purchased.

“I found the pattern at Peggy’s shop and really loved it,” Pam Hocking said. “The pattern is called ‘Jewel Box.’”

To date, 11 quilts have been raffled off and typically brings in upward of $2,300 on raffle ticket sales alone.

“The first year we did one, I thought we would be lucky to sell $300 worth of tickets,” Pam Hocking said. “We wound up selling $1,200 that year. I was thrilled.”

Registration for the annual walk will be held at 9 a.m. at Riverfront Park with the walk taking place at 10 a.m. 

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