Hillsboro High School hosts an evening of H.O.P.E.
Originally billed as the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the 11th annual H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Everyday) walk, pulled together the communities of Hillsboro, Yuba, Rockton, Ontario, LaFarge, Kendall, Valley, Wonewoc, Union Center, and Elroy.
Last Friday night’s event saw more than a hundred people walking individually and in teams raising money to assist those effected by cancer. Funds for H.O.P.E. were raised by numerous vendors representing churches, families, Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinics, the Lions Club and their ‘Flying Pigs’ fundraiser, Hillsboro 4-H Hot Shots, various food vendors, bake sales, multiple raffles and a large silent auction.
A highlight of the event was the luminaria memorials community members could purchase for five dollars, honoring relatives and friends that had their lives taken or disrupted by cancer. Lining the edge of just about the whole inside of the schools running track, the sight was overwhelming and emotional, giving a powerful meaning to the word community.
Hillsboro Lioness Liz Johnson is just one of many dedicated to fundraising for the H.O.P.E. event, having spent six years working with the Relay for Life and fifteen years so far with the H.O.P.E. walk. “I run around for a couple of months or better gathering things up for this event. I’m loving it! It makes me feel good that folks come out to help support the cause.”, Johnson said, and noted that she and others are happy to get involved in this every year. Johnson acknowledging the hard work involved putting an event like this together said, “It takes a host of people to make this happen, but it is worth it.”
City of Hillsboro Mayor Greg Kubarski said of the event, “It’s a great thing that happens every year. A lot of work goes into it to help a lot of people.”
Some of that work was carried out by Hillsboro’s Boy Scout Troop 83, Hillsboro Cub Scout Pack 83, and Elroy Troop 88. Scouts led the opening lap of the H.O.P.E. walk carrying in the American flag and their respective scout flags. The scouts were also charged with putting together the luminarias and placing them around the track.
Troop 83 Scout Leader Tom Stowell when asked what the scouts take away in participating said, “With the fundraising, it’s service hours and working with the community. I think it has affected a lot of the scouts in their lives, a lot of their grandparents have had cancer, so it’s a personal thing too. Scouts are always service ready and help out with the community.” He noted that the scouts do road cleanup service in town, march in the parades, and help out the community in any way they can. Stowell shared that the event is always a great opportunity for the scouts and stressed that they have been involved since it began.
Deemed a much-needed cooperative success for all the communities involved, H.O.P.E. can continue its support for community members that are fighting cancer, who are cancer survivors, or whom may have lost loved ones to a non-discriminate disease.