Kick Up Your Heels Hospice 5K run

Alisha Saulsbury is organizing a run to benefit Talbot Hospice.

Alisha Saulsbury is organizing a run to benefit Talbot Hospice.

EASTON – Community support is always important for those in need, maybe most of all as they near the end of life. On Sept. 22, the Festival of Trees will begin a new fund-raising event for Talbot County Hospice.

The Kick Up Your Heels 5 kilometer run will raise money and awareness for the group’s work.

“In addition to providing high-quality, end-of-life support services to patients and families, Hospice provides bereavement and support groups,” a statement from organizer Alisha Saulsbury said. “Some of the groups are: Caregivers’ Support, Monthly Grief Groups, Shattering the Silence (for those in our community who are grieving the death of a loved one due to suicide, substance abuse or addiction), Child Loss Support, Pet Loss bereavement, and so much more.”

Ms. Saulsbury, a dedicated runner herself, began her involvement with Hospice nearly 20 years ago, when she brought her young children with her as she volunteered, so that they would learn the value of serving others.

“As time went on, I had two sons and my friend and I thought the Festival of Trees was in need of a mother-son dance,” she said in a statement to the Banner. “In 2009, Dorri Gowe Lambert and I started this fun-loving event.”

Now that the boys are older, she stepped away from that event, and into planning the run. “Still wanting to remain involved, and an avid runner, this naturally evolved,” she said.

One aspect of Hospice that attracts her is its versatility in providing a variety of services. “So many think of Hospice as dignified end-of-life support and compassion for families. This is huge,” she said. “However, as a forensic behavioral health clinician who is trauma certified, I have referred many patients and their families to these groups and hear continuous positive support and feedback.”

It’s a family project for the Saulsburys, as daughter Karli will co-chair the run, and both sons plan to participate. Many sponsors have already signed on, including Foxwell Auctions, Easton Dairy Queen, For All Seasons Behaviorial Health and Rape Crisis Center, Building Bridges Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services, Easton Dermatology and Associates. Organizers also thank Jason Chance and Tricycle & Run, Mid Shore Behavorial Health and Richard Phillips State Farm.

“We hope that you will support our efforts by making a contribution to this new event for 2018,” the statement said. “Whether you run or walk, please invite your friends and join us in Easton on Sept. 22.”

The Festival of Trees is Talbot County’s largest fund-raising event for Hospice. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to Alisha F. Saulsbury/Chair/Hospice 5K, 8858 Roundhouse Circle, Easton, MD 21601. She may be reached at 443-786-0847.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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