Walk­ing for Ron­ald Mcdon­ald House

Trin­ity, Con­cep­tion and Pla­cen­tia re­gions raise thou­sands dur­ing Red Shoe Crew walk

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Spe­cial to The Com­pass Ron­ald McDon­ald House (RMH) in St. John’s is only a year old, but the char­ity has a strong sup­por t s y s tem a round the prov­ince.

Lo­cated di­rectly across from the Janeway Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, RMH is a con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion for out-of-town fam­i­lies to stay while their chil­dren are un­der­go­ing surg­eries, treat­ments or are longterm res­i­dents at the only chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal in the prov­ince.

The char­ity re­lies on fundrais­ing and do­na­tions to run Canada’s 14th RMH lo­ca­tion, with one of those fundrais­ing events be­ing an an­nual walk.

The sec­ond an­nual Red Shoe Crew Walk took place in 31 com­mu­ni­ties around the prov­ince with some 2,500 par­tic­i­pants.

The walk sees res­i­dents from all over raise money to sup­port the fam­i­lies that have to stay in St. John’s while their chil­dren stay at the Janeway.

There were five walks in the Trin­ity, Con­cep­tion and Pla­cen­tia re­gion on Sept. 21 and 22.

New Har­bour walk

New Har­bour hosted a very suc­cess­ful event. An­nette and Chris Hig­don have been huge sup­port­ers of the RMH since the be­gin­ning as vol­un­teers. The house had not yet opened its doors when they joined the cause.

There were some 200 peo­ple from Whit­bourne to Heart’s De­sire in Trin­ity Bay that took part in the event at the lo­cal Li­ons Club.

The group col lected some $20,000 for the event, but also had a woman with a “big heart” do­nate a sig­nif­i­cant gift.

Geral­dine Gaul of Up­per Is­land Cove ar­rived on the day of the event with a pickup truck filled with house­hold items for RMH.

“Need­less to say, the day turned out to be breath­tak­ing,” An­nette Hig­don wrote in an email. “As the to­tal was re­vealed, it was a very emo­tional time for us.”

There were also do­na­tions from Avalon Sleeveens — $1,000 from a sum­mer fun day fundraiser — and In Kind, who do­nated $5,000 in house­hold items.

Pla­cen­tia walk

The Pla­cen­tia town hall was buzzing with ac­tiv­ity as the Red Shoe Crew Walk be­gan. The group had more than 100 par­tic­i­pants take part in the walk on Sept. 22.

Or­ga­nized by Camille Bryan and a group of moms of preschool aged chil­dren, the event proved suc­cess­ful with a to­tal amount raised of over $11,000.

The Town of Pla­cen­tia sup­plied food at the end of the walk and the Step­ping Stones fam­ily re­source cen­tre pro­vided prizes.

Whe n t h e R e d Sho e w a l k or­ga­niz­ers ap­proached the Town of Pla­cen­tia to get in­volved, the moth­ers at the re­source cen­tre im­me­di­ately hopped on board.

“It struck home to us,” Camille ex­plained in a phone in­ter­view with The Com­pass. “None of us have had to use it per­son­ally yet, but it’s one of those things where you never want to use it. There’s a com­fort in know­ing it’s there.”

Point Lance res­i­dent Margie O’Keefe was the top fundraiser, rais­ing some $500. That was more than the $300 raised at last year’s event.

Pla­cen­tia in­ter­est grew from last year — hav­ing only two par­tic­i­pants — to hav­ing 100 walk­ers par­take in the event.

Camil l e s a i d th e group is al­ready plan­ning for next year’s event, and the whole com­mu­nity is proud of the suc­cess this year.

Hant’s Har­bour walk

Sa­man­tha Ash and a com­mit­tee of youth from Hant’s Har­bour on the south shore of Trin­ity Bay or­ga­nized an event at the Hant’s Har­bour Sports Com­plex.

It was led by the Hant’s Har­bour fire depart­ment.

Some 50 walk­ers took part in the event, in­clud­ing a Girl Guide troop from Old Per­li­can.

With the sup­port of lo­cal busi­nesses, com­mit­tees, or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­u­als, the group raised more than $5,000 for the RMH.

The Town of Hant’s Har­bour, Hant’s Har­bour recre­ation com­mis­sion and the lo­cal Li­ons Club also gen­er­ously do­nated to the cause.

The top fundraiser for the event was Naomi Sea­ward from Goose- berry Cove, who raised over $500. Con­cep­tion Bay North walks Daisy Dawe was quite busy for the Red Shoe Crew Walks, since she or­ga­nized the events in Con­cep­tion Bay North’s two big­gest towns — Car­bon­ear and Bay Roberts.

Bay Roberts hosted its event at the Wil­bur Sparkes Recre­ation Com­plex Satur­day, Sept. 21, while Car­bon­ear’s event took place at the Car­bon­ear Recre­ation Com­plex the fol­low­ing day.

Daisy, her mother Diane, fa­ther Bill and sis­ter Jes­sica or­ga­nized both walks, with Daisy call­ing it a “real fam­ily ef­fort.”

Jen­nifer Gree­ley of Bay Roberts and her daugh­ter Myla were the top fundrais­ers at the Bay Roberts walk, which saw some 25 par­tic­i­pants.

The mother- daugh­ter team raised $300 of the $2,500 do­nated.

In Car­bon­ear, 30 par­tic­i­pants gath­ered at the soc­cer field on Val­ley Road.

Brenda Bald­win from Vic­to­ria raised over $400 for the event, and was named top fundraiser. The event raised some $3,500.

Car­bon­ear’s event hosted a spe­cial guest, CJ Whe­lan. She told the crowd about her ex­pe­ri­ence at the Ron­ald McDon­ald House, and brought a per­sonal per­spec­tive to the as­sis­tance the fa­cil­ity of­fers.

Daisy told The Com­pass gro­cery stores gave gift cards, and the or­ga­niz­ers de­cided to do­nate them to the RMH to help stock their pantry.

Daisy said it was so much fun or­ga­niz­ing the events and is look­ing for­ward to next year.

Af­ter a suc­cess­ful Red Shoe Crew walk, rais­ing more than $20,000 for the Ron­ald McDon­ald House, the New Har­bour walk­ers got to have a piece of cake. Those cut­ting the cake were, from left, Dar­lene Brazil, An­nette Hig­don, Valerie Geary from Ron­ald McDon­ald House and Geral­dine Gaul.

The event in Hant’s Har­bour was very suc­cess­ful, see­ing some $5,000 raised for the char­ity. The group stopped for a photo af­ter the walk to cap­ture the mem­ory. Names were not avail­able.

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