Women Walking for Hope raise $4,611
Sean Chase/Daily Observer The seventh annual Women Walking For Hope raised $4,611 to support of the Canadian Cancer Society Wheels For Hope program. In the photo are (back left to right) Leigh Costello, fundraising specialist with the Canadian Cancer Society of Renfrew County, Morgan Finley, Lesley Buckingham, Jeris Chalmers-Wein, Susan Chalmers, Danielle Shaver, Fiona Brown, (front left to right) Laila Shaver and Mylah Shaver.
The Women Walking For Hope once more made the journey from Petawawa to Pembroke and back again over the weekend bringing in $4,611 for the Canadian Cancer Society's Wheels For Hope.
This year's fundraiser saw Jeris Chalmers-Wein, Morgan Finley, Susan Chalmers, Lesley Buckingham, Fiona Brown, Danielle Shaver, Mylah Shaver and Laila Shaver make the 33-kilometre round trip in about eight hours. With this year's total, the event has raised $41,325 in the past seven years.
Taking Petawawa Boulevard, the walkers departed the Petawawa Civic Centre and headed east to Pembroke where they stopped at Little Things Canning Company in the downtown to present a cheque donation to the Canadian Cancer Society. Owners of Little Things Canning Company provided a free lunch and also donated 75 per cent of all soup sales for the day to the fundraiser.
The event serves as a main fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society of Renfrew County’s Wheels for Hope Program which provides transportation to people travelling back and forth to cancer appointments primarily in Ottawa and Kingston. When the walkers were ready to resume their travels, Leigh Costello, fundraising specialist with the Canadian Cancer Society of Renfrew County, related to them a story about a 78-year-old woman from Beachburg, who contacted the organization about her situation.
Costello related that the woman's husband had just been diagnosed with advanced prostrate cancer and that the family had to figure out how to get him to Ottawa to attend treatments. The woman told Costello that she had been told by a local transportation provider that it would cost $100 per drive, a cost very difficult for the family to absorb. With her children living far away, the woman wasn't sure what to do until she was informed of the Wheels of Hope program.
“She was silent and you could hear the worry and stress leaving,” Costello recounted to the walkers. “She was relived that help was available and that she and her husband could concentrate on what is most important – her husband's health. This is just one life impacted by what you do.”
Last year's donations supported 131 drives for Renfrew County cancer patients. Event co-ordinator Jeris Chalmers-Wein said they were blessed with better weather and the generosity of donors not only along the way but online.
“This has been one of the best years,” said Chalmers-Wein. “It's not raining on us, it's not snowing and it's not too hot.”
Chalmers-Wein added she and her fellow participants deeply appreciated the story that was conveyed to them. It reinforced to them that their cause is a critical one that reaches many people in the region.
“It's really important that we hear stories like that,” she said. “It just fuels the fire for us to push and keep going.”