Generous donations make walking trail a reality

John Hofer chose to honor his late wife through philanthropy.

The new walking trail surrounding Aurora Medical Center – Bay Area offers a place to reflect, walk and remember a loved one.

The Mary Hofer Walking Trail began as a generous donation from John Hofer, former team member and director of an outside foundation, to give back to the hospital where his wife – also an Aurora team member – underwent cancer treatment. His initial donation grew through Aurora Health Care Foundation, and future gifts will add to the trail with benches, exercise equipment and other improvements.

“The walking trail is an appropriate way to say thank you to the staff that supported Mary during her two years of cancer treatments and to acknowledge the 20-year relationship we had both professionally and personally with the people who work there,” John wrote of the trail project. “The use of the trails by the community will also be our recognition of how important our hometown is to us and our families. Oh yes, and let’s not forget, walking is healthy.”

The Mary Hofer Walking Trail

The trails are also a nod to one of Mary’s favorite pastimes.

“Mary and I walked a lot. Whether it was part of good dog care, exercise, or our long-standing belief that it was the best way to experience a new city because who knew what was around the next corner,” shared John. “We walked.”

The trail is open to the public and will eventually lead to a future Healing Garden the Foundation is hoping to build.

“My hope is that this trail, with Mary’s name, may prompt others to memorialize or recognize through philanthropic support what I believe is the most important building and mission in our community.”

To donate to future trail improvements, please contact Jenna Robinson, development coordinator, at To make a gift to support a hospital or program close to home, click here.