Two Smithtown High School teens will lead others to Walk On For Hope this Sunday in Port Jefferson.
Walk On For Hope is a community walk/run supported by local schools and families to benefit the Good Shepher Hospice's Child Life program. It will take place this Sunday, with the walk/run starting at 9 a.m.
Amy Insana, a guidance counselor at Smithtown High School East, said the event was created by junior Gabby Link and senior Spencer Ochs to remember family members who died of cancer in hospice care.
"It started with Gabby coming to me last year, she had collected
Christmas presents and donate them to the hospital her sister had spent a lot
of time, but the director there wouldn’t allow her to do it," Insana said, citing the hospital had privacy and medical concerns. "Gabby told me, 'I want to do something in my sister’s memory.'"
Insana worked with Link to immediately create a walk/run as a fundraiser event to benefit the hospice services her sister had used, and introduced her to Ochs - whose mother was a former Smithtown school district employee.
The Walk On For Hope found success and is now an annual event. Students haved worked with Good Shepherd Hospice to host a 4.5 mile walk/run through Belle Terre and Port Jefferson, starting opposite St. Charles Hospital.
"We tried to have the walk moved to Smithtown this year as it's flatter,
but the town wouldn’t approve it," Insana said.
Those interested in taking part can register the day-of the event for $25 starting at 8 a.m. The 4.5-mile walk/run will start at 9 a.m at the Old Crayola building, 200 Belle Terre Road, Port Jefferson.
The walk/run will be immediately followed by a power breakfast for all participants.