The Abbey Retreat Centre (ARC) launched its 4th annual Haliburton Highlands Challenge June 25, with the event running from July 1-Sept. 30.

The retreat centre was full of participants, who will be taking to the water, hiking trails, bike paths, or staying active at home.

Since its establishment in 2017, ARC has remained dedicated to providing cancer retreats for free, acknowledging the financial burden individuals and families battling cancer already face. ARC has served more than 322 people affected by cancer through its programming. By December, ARC is set to host four more in-person retreats and three more online programs, serving another 70 people facing cancer. They had to close their doors due to COVID and transitioned to creating online programs. They have also offered space to the local HHHS cancer support and grief groups, as well as providing a gathering place for families, who are looking for a time of relaxation in the midst of a cancer journey.

During the official launch for the challenge, Bob Stiles, who did a retreat in 2019, said he has set a goal of lifting 80,000 pounds. His wife, Arlene Stiles, supported Bob during his retreat and has joined ARC as a program coordinator. “The retreat reminded me that I am a whole person, I have lots of things to me other than cancer and a support person,” said Stiles.

The challenge hopes to raise $80,000, which would move 50 people off of the waitlist into a four-day retreat.

To learn more about ARC, and ways to donate, or join a team go to: