He and his father Roger Stieglitz of West Chicago, along with 11-month-old Madeleine Stieglitz, were among about 190 people who took part Saturday in the fundraiser for FVVH, a community-based, nonprofit organization that provides free hospice care to people with life-threatening illnesses and their families, and bereavement care to families.
A black-and-white photo of a smiling Su Stieglitz, who died in March 2011, was among those pinned on a memory board designed to remember loved ones who died.
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Saturday's 5K is expected to top the $18,000 raised by last year's event, said FVVH Executive Director Greg Weider.
FVVH numbers about 400 active volunteers, and is the largest volunteer hospice organization in the country, Weider said.
Hike for Hospice, however, is much more than a fundraiser, Weider said. "This is a remembrance event for friends and families," he said. "It's an opportunity for people here to remember their loved ones, and to come together for that."
FVVH volunteer Erica Holing, of Geneva, who participated in the walk with four girlfriends, said she especially liked the boxed lunch donated by Moveable Feast in Geneva. "It was cold, but we're just grateful it didn't rain," Holing said.
Her friend, Jaqueline Nootens, of St. Charles, walked in memory of her mother, Grace Riccelli, who died in 1984. "It's just incredible that there are people that are so compassionate and can do this," she said. "This is number one on my donor list. This, and the Salvation Army."
Friends Isabella Freitag, Elizabeth Lyke, and Monica Nuckles, all 15 and sophomores at Geneva High School, took part in the run/walk as "Team Nuckles," along with Nuckles' mother and older brother. "It gives you a lot of comfort to know that they are taken care of at the end," said Nuckles, whose three grandparents received hospice care.
FVVH serves St. Charles and all of Kane and Kendall counties, plus parts of DuPage, Cook and McHenry counties. For more information, visit fvvh.org, call (630) 232-2233, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.