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A Walk for Hope & Healing

Photos/Story MaryAnn Ketcham

Breathing deep the crisp, fresh air of the early January morning, supporters of Treasure Coast Hospice and those grieving the loss of a cherished love one strolled the 1.2-mile pathway around the scenic lake at Tradition in Port St. Lucie. Each exhale providing a means of releasing some of that pain, taking the first steps of a journey to hope and healing. 

With strict COVID-19 safety protocols in place, the 3rd Annual Lakeside Stroll offered a bevy of therapeutic methodologies to express love and fond remembrances.  These included opportunities to place a memorial sign along the walkway, pen a handwritten message and, together with a photo, post it on the memory wall, and pay a visit to the pet pampering station.  Many chose to write messages on fabric strips, contributing to the ongoing weave of a special memorial tapestry. 

“We are so appreciative of the community’s support of the Lakeside Stroll,” said Jacki Nardone, Director of Grief Support and Pediatric Services. “This event offers hope and healing to those who are grieving, especially those who are experiencing more complex grief due to the pandemic. Our team understands the challenges that the bereaved have faced this past year and we are dedicated to continuing to provide the services and support that our community needs to cope with the loss of a loved one.”

A plentiful array of raffle items were up for grabs and helped raise additional funds to support Treasure Coast Hospice Grief Support Services.  Among the many services available, Treasure Coast Hospice grief counselors offer individual and group counseling, youth and family programs, crisis response, educational workshops, and Camp Good Grief, a youth bereavement camp, to all those in need in our community.

Participant Jane Gerlica, who suffered the loss of her beloved mother, said, "Hospice is a gift that you don't think you need until you do.  The caring and assistance hospice provided to my mom and my family was such a blessing.  To be able to support this organization means so much to me!"

Presenting Sponsor Dignity Memorial Aycock Funeral Homes was joined by OxyPros Plus, The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, FPL, Remnant Construction, MIS Consulting, Martin Funeral Home & Crematory, Haisley Funeral & Cremation Service, VIP America Home Health Resources, and many others.

Treasure Coast High School's Air Force JROTC came out in force, assisting as needed. 

Toni Szparaga and her True Crew Dance Group, who began the event with light-hearted warm-up exercises to the tunes of DJ T-Bone, concluded the event with a poignant memorial dance. 

To donate, volunteer, or for more information about Treasure Coast Hospice, please visit



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