Twenty-two people gathered on the grounds of the Abbey Retreat Centre Aug. 27, walking the last few hundred metres with drums and umbrellas to mark the windup of a summer-long program to generate funds for the cancer support programs of the centre.

The Haliburton Highlands Challenge was a choose-your-own-adventure program inviting participants to walk, cycle, paddle, practice yoga or move in any way they wanted to reflect the importance of physical exercise in maintaining health and especially in recovery from cancer or cancer treatment symptoms.

Executive-director Doug Norris said 26 participants took part through July and August, locally and as far away as Montreal and Vancouver. As of the last day of the program, he said the goal of raising $50,000 had been met with more than 350 donors involved.

“These funds will underwrite the costs of cancer support programs through the next year, both once on-site programming can begin again and in the meantime through a growing curriculum of online programs with some 50 people in recent months served by five of the retreat centre personnel and further sessions beginning in September,” Norris said.

The Abbey Retreat Centre is a registered charitable organization located on the grounds of the Abbey Gardens Community Trust and exists to support people with a cancer diagnosis and their caregivers in finding life-enhancing choices on the cancer journey as well as offering meaningful program and a facility for the use of the Haliburton community. Programs are offered free of charge. For more information see


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