Walk with pur­pose

Trip across Canada rais­ing money for Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion

The News (New Glasgow) - - COVER STORY - BY ADAM MACIN­NIS

Benoit Lebel is just at the be­gin­ning stages of his trip across Canada but al­ready he’s raised about $2,000 for the Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion.

Lebel passed through Pic­tou County ear­lier this week as part of his trek that he is do­ing for both per­sonal and char­i­ta­ble rea­sons.

He said he’s wanted to do some­thing like this for a while – to take a break from every­thing else and live the travel ex­pe­ri­ence. But he didn’t want his trip to be with­out pur­pose, so he con­tacted the Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion to make sure they were OK with him fundrais­ing for them.

“I’m do­ing it for my­self, but I wanted to give some­thing to some­one else,” he said.

They were of course more than happy to hear about his de­sire.

Hail­ing from Que­bec, Lebel started his trip in St. John’s, N.L., on March 12.

While he is trav­el­ling a large por­tion on foot, he said he’s also hitch­hik­ing and tak­ing the bus for cer­tain por­tions.

He ad­mits he wasn’t an avid hiker be­fore he started his jour­ney and al­ready has mailed home some of the items he can do with­out to lighten his pack. He now has it down to about 25 pounds.

In New­found­land he hiked 525 km. He has a tent with him, but where he can he stays with peo­ple who open their homes to him. He was forced to use the tent on his third day out. It was -15C out and there were winds of about 50 km. De­spite the shel­ter of the tent and hud­dling in his sleep­ing bag his hands and feet felt frozen.

He’s been thank­ful for the shel­ter oth­ers have pro­vided since then. Meet­ing peo­ple has been a high­light of the ex­pe­ri­ence for him so far.

“The sec­ond time I hitch­hiked the car stopped and when I opened the door it was a lady about I would say 80 some­thing years old. Her name was Mary and she was re­ally nice,” he said. “That wasn’t the kind of per­son I ex­pected to see. Ev­ery time I hitch­hiked I al­ways met nice peo­ple. I’ve met some pretty amaz­ing peo­ple so far.”

Lebel hopes to raise $30,000 dur­ing his trip. Those in­ter­ested in do­nat­ing can visit www.wish­walk.ca.

On the web­site are links as well to fol­low Lebel on so­cial me­dia.

ADAM MACIN­NIS/THE NEWS

Benoit Lebel passed through Pic­tou County this week as part of his trek across Canada which he is do­ing to raise funds for the Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion.

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