17th annual Toronto Hike for Hospice has record-breaking year

The 17th annual Toronto Hike for Hospice on May 5, 2019 was the most successful to date raising more than $90,000 for vital programs and services at Emily’s House/Philip Aziz Centre and Hospice Toronto.

David Smeriglio is grateful for the exceptional staff and volunteers at Emily’s House and their warm welcome for his daughter Tallula, who visits occasionally. For the past few years, David has rallied hikers to join him on “Team Tallula” in the Hike for Hospice because he knows the importance of these services for all patients and their families.

This spring, he and his friend Lou Tarsitano also organized a social, grassroots fundraiser in advance of the Hike.

“We had a great turnout: 50 people attended, and we raised $2,375,” says David. “It was held at Lou’s house and we had to turn away at least 20 people since we were at capacity. Next year we going to hold it at a restaurant, with a band and food and I hope that 100 people will attend.”

David appreciates the exceptional show of support from the friends, colleagues and the local community. He reports that 20 people joined him on Team Tallula. Their entry fees totalled at least $400.

His daughter Tallula is scheduled to enjoy summer camp at Emily’s House. Her planned camp last summer had to be cancelled to make space for palliative care children, who transferred from Sick Kids hospital.

As a father of three and a busy REALTOR®, David works hard to balance his many responsibilities. When Tallula visits Emily’s House, he is relieved to know she receives wonderful care. His daughter is blind with acute hearing and she particularly enjoys the music therapy program.

Emily’s House is a unique facility featuring a “Snoezelen” room with interactive surfaces activated by a child’s touch, a shared kitchen, a guest room for parents and a games area for siblings. Take a virtual tour of Emily’s House: https://youtu.be/pnpa_Vbu6RE

This story was adapted – with permission – from one originally featured on the Sutton Spirit website. The Sutton Spirit program recognizes Sutton associates across Canada that improve and enhance the lives of the people around them.

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