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Hustle Up for Hospice

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on September 16, 2010 with No Comments

By Rey Perez

Lace up the shoes, grab the helmet and put some air in those tires folks because the time has again come for the 6th annual Hospice Hustle, Lake County’s rural route bike ride through the rolling terrain of Northwest Indiana. The ride will take place this year on Sunday, Sept. 26.
The idea was formed just six short years ago, when avid bike rider and Munster plastic surgeon Dr. Gus Galante realized that there were no long route bike rides in Northwest Indiana, and in order to participate in rides cyclists needed to travel to the Illinois and Michigan area. This would not do for Galante, or for good friend and riding buddy Bill Hasse of Hasse Construction. The two men put their heads, as well as their love of biking, together and started the Hospice Hustle, a 25 or 62 mile casual bike ride through much of the rolling hills and country roads of the county.


Everyone has a 5K walk or run, we wanted to be unique with a ride,” Galante said.
The Hospice Hustle begins at the Lake county fairgrounds in Crown Point, and winds its way up and down the roads in Crown Point, Hebron, Valparaiso, as well as other region cities and towns. Each rider makes a minimum donation as well as whatever other donation they would like to make for the cause. Along the way, there are many designated “S.A.G stops”, or supply and gear stops, where riders can stop and get a quick pick me up drink or snack, as well as make necessary repairs to their bicycle.
At the end of both routes, also at the fairgrounds, there is always chili or some sort of other food that is also donated for riders to revamp their strength. That is a lot of chili, considering that based on the previous rides Galante expects nearly 150 or more riders for this year’s Hustle.
“It’s a great morning to come out and socialize,” Galante expressed.
Starting the ride was just the beginnings of a brilliant idea by these two men, who decided that all the proceeds needed to be donated to a worthy cause. Who better to put the money to good use than the Hospice of the Calumet Area?
Hospice of the Calumet Area, a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the quality of life through care for individuals and families facing an end-of-life illness. Hospice features a staff of highly qualified nurses and volunteers who work in tune with the patient, family and their physicians to make the final months, weeks or days of the ill as comfortable and peaceful as possible.
Giving to the community and good causes is a passion of Galante and Hasse, and giving back they have done. The Hospice Hustle, in just its first five years, has donated over $110 thousand dollars toward Hospice care. The proceeds go toward necessary supplies and resources Hospice needs to maintain their facilities and patients.
Many of those who are employed by the Hospice of the Calumet Area also come out to the ride to show their support of the riders and express their gratitude for the wonderful donations. Many of them ride, while others just volunteer their time and smiles.
Many people who don’t know us think it’s sad and depressing,” Julie Stogsdill, director of development for Hospice, said. “The ride allows people to see us in an upbeat and happy light.”
Others who pledge their support are local sponsors of the ride. Each business can make anywhere from a minimum donation of $250, to upwards of a $2,500 donation toward Hospice care. The sponsorships the event receives make a huge dent in the already low cost of putting on the event, which insures maximum proceeds going just where they need to be, with the patient.
This is a wonderful event here”, Stogsdill commented. Indeed it is, as more and more folks become aware of the regions now annual bike ride and have begun to contribute for a great cause. So jump on the bike, put on the helmet, and feel great about contributing to something big for the region.
For more information about joining this year’s Hospice Hustle or about making a contribution to the Hospice of the Calumet Area, visit www.hospicecalumet.org or contact Julie Stogsdill at 219-922-2732.

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