Archived Story

Niles nurse plans 400-mile bike ride for hospice

Published 8:42am Thursday, July 3, 2014

ST. JOSEPH — Niles resident and registered nurse Dawn Spoon is taking her first long-distance bicycle ride this month to raise money and awareness for a cause near to her heart: hospice.

A nurse for the last nine years at Hospice at Home, a Lakeland HealthCare Affiliate, Dawn has been cycling for the last six. From Friday, July 18, through Saturday, July 26, Dawn will ride the Tour de Mitt, a 463-mile bike ride she has planned from Mackinac City to Stevensville to support the Merlin and Carolyn Hanson Hospice Center. Her goal is to raise enough money to provide a month of charity room and board at the Hanson Hospice Center.

Local cyclists are invited to ride with Dawn for all or part of the Tour de Mitt. Options include:

• Riding the last leg of the trip with Dawn from Lory’s Place in St. Joseph to the Hanson Care Park in Stevensville (7.6 miles). Any cyclists may join; riders donating $10 or more will receive a commemorative T-shirt. Cyclists should be ready to ride by 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 26, meeting at the Edgewater Center parking lot at Momany and Upton Drive in St. Joseph. Park on the south side of the building.

• Riding for a single leg of the trip. A donation of $20 per day or more is requested.

• Riding the entire Tour de Mitt. A donation of $100 or more is requested; includes campground accommodations.

A celebratory cookout with a kids’ victory bike lap around the Hanson Care Park in Stevensville will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 26, to welcome back Dawn and other riders from the trip. To register for the ride, contact Julie Griffin at (800) 717-3811 or at

“It’s important to stop sometimes, in the midst of our hectic lives, to take stock — to really look at those around us and allow ourselves time to simply enjoy life and be grateful for it all,” Dawn said. “It’s also at these times that we can be acutely aware of the gaps in the world where our loved ones are missing. Hospice care is not about death, it’s about life, and spending the moments we have together well. I’m asking our community to support my ride and help someone else to have moments like this.”

For more information about Tour de Mitt or to donate, go to Follow Dawn’s journey on Facebook at

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