Nipissing Serenity Hospice kicked off its annual Hike for Hospice Thursday.

This is the fourth year for the hike.

Mathilde Bazinet, the chair of Nipissing Serenity Hospice, says the goal this year is to raise $100,000.

She says the amount would pay for one room at the facility.

The hike is scheduled for May 5th and is at the entrance to Laurier Woods.

People can pre-register online at www.nipissingserenityhospice.ca and make their contribution with a credit card.

Bazinet says they can also go to the Davedi Club a week before the hike with their registration or register the day of the hike.

Registration begins at 10:00am followed by the hike one hour later.

Thursday’s launch got off with a bang with RBC again making a $5,000 donation to this year’s target.

The bank has been a supporter of the hospice and its hikes the last four years.

Also donating $1,000 at the launch was East Ferris Edition.

The 10-bed hospice being built at John Street is a $7.4 million dollar project.

Most of the money has been raised thanks to grants from the provincial government however, Bazinet says about $600,000 still needs to be raised.

Holly Cangiano, fundraiser coordinator for Nipissing Serenity Housing.

Holly Cangiano, the fundraiser coordinator for Nipissing Serenity Hospice, says if this year’s hike target is met, that leaves $500,000 to raise which she hopes can be in place when the facility opens in the fall.

The amount raised each year appears to be rising.

During the first two years, about $75,000 was raised both times and last year the participants brought in $87,000.

Volunteers help the organization pull off the hike each year and so far 36 people have signed on to help with the May 5th event.

The group will hold a volunteer recruitment and volunteer appreciation day on April 25th with more information on that to follow.

Bazinet sees work at the site on a regular basis and is very excited with what’s been accomplished since last August when construction officially began.

She says all the walls are up at the hospice and now the roof membrane is going up.

Organizers say the May 5th hike will go ahead rain or shine.