Rais­ing much-needed funds

Sixth an­nual women’s walk raises money for Cancer So­ci­ety Wheels of Hope pro­gram

The Daily Observer - - NEWS - CÉLINA IP cip@postmedia.com

The sixth an­nual Women Walk­ing For Hope fundraiser saw a ded­i­cated group of area res­i­dents lace up their sneak­ers and don their pon­chos in sup­port of the Wheels of Hope Pro­gram.

On May 6, the char­i­ta­ble walk saw eight par­tic­i­pants walk 40 kilo­me­tres down Petawawa Boule­vard from the Petawawa Civic Cen­tre to the Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety’s Ren­frew County Com­mu­nity Of­fice in Pem­broke’s west end and back again.

The event serves as a main fundraiser for the Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety of Ren­frew County’s Wheels of Hope Pro­gram, which pro­vides trans­porta­tion to peo­ple trav­el­ling back and forth to cancer ap­point­ments pri­mar­ily in Ot­tawa.

The cold and rainy weather did not dis­cour­age the par­tic­i­pants who raised a whop­ping $11,601.09 through their ef­forts, and were treated to free pizza from Joes Family Pizze­ria half­way through their eight-hour march.

In the first year, the walk had just three par­tic­i­pants – lead or­ga­nizer Su­san Chalmers and her friends Barb Palmer and Les­ley Buck­ing­ham. Chalmers’s daugh­ter Jeris later joined the cause and it is now open to any­one who wishes to join and help out.

“With the rainy weather, it’s great that we still had so many who came out,” said Chalmers. “I see it as just eight hours of my day of be­ing damp and wet in or­der to sup­port this cause. And this year was great as we ended up well sur­pass­ing our goal with more than $11,000.”

This year’s funds will sup­port 131 drives for Ren­frew County cancer pa­tients to ap­point­ments in Ot­tawa.

De­siree Cre­vier, a cancer sur­vivor and one of the walk’s par­tic­i­pants, shared how the pro­gram has pos­i­tively im­pacted her­self and oth­ers. She fin­ished her treat­ment for stage-three breast cancer in Oc­to­ber and although she is on the road to re­cov­ery her jour­ney is still not over.

“I’ve seen it first­hand, the peo­ple that come in for ra­di­a­tion ev­ery week and they could not get there without the Wheels of Hope (pro­gram). I even know peo­ple from Pem­broke and Petawawa who re­lied on it and it was the only way that they could get back and forth,” said Cre­vier. “I didn’t have to use the Wheels of Hope be­cause I was for­tu­nate enough to have my hus­band drive me but if he had been de­ployed I would have had no choice be­cause I don’t have family here.”

Since it be­gan six years ago, the an­nual walk has raised nearly $38,000 for the lo­cal charity which has pro­vided trans­porta­tion re­lief to hun­dreds of pa­tients from Pem­broke, Petawawa and other ar­eas in the county.

“We at the Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety are very ap­pre­cia­tive and very thank­ful for these ladies to be out in the rain to­day, do­ing the Women’s Walk for Hope,” said Lana Gorr, com­mu­nity en­gage­ment spe­cial­ist with the Ren­frew County Com­mu­nity Of­fice of the Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety. “Without them the pro­gram would not be as suc­cess­ful as it is and without them it would not sur­vive.”

Any­one who wishes more in­for­ma­tion on the Wheels of Hope pro­gram, who wants to vol­un­teer or do­nate to the cause is asked to call the Ren­frew County Com­mu­nity Of­fice at 613-735-2571.

CÉLINA IP / DAILY OB­SERVER

The Women Walk­ing for Hope raised $11,601.09 for the Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety's Wheels of Hope trans­porta­tion pro­gram by walk­ing from Petawawa to Pem­broke and back again. Half­way through their trav­els, Joes Family Pizze­ria treated the group to a free lunch. In the photo (from left) are Joes Family Pizze­ria co-owner Joe Ward, Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety of Ren­frew County com­mu­nity en­gage­ment spe­cial­ist Lana Gorr, Mor­gan Fin­ley, Su­san Chalmers, Les­ley Buck­ing­ham, Michel Lariv­iere, Jeris Chalmers-Wein, Danielle Shaver, nine-year-old My­lah Shaver, six-year-old Laila Shaver, De­siree Cre­vier, Lisa Lueck and Joes Family Pizze­ria co-owner Natasha Ward.

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