Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Last year’s total more than doubled
A larger contingent of Intereach staff participating in STEPtember this year helped the organisation more than double its fundraising efforts from 2020.
Participants from across the entire Intereach footprint took part, making up 18 teams.
Each team member was tasked with walking a minimum of 10,000 steps each day during September, while raising money to support a wide range of initiatives helping people living with cerebral palsy.
Programs that can be supported with funds raised include identifying babies at risk, early detection of cerebral palsy, helping equip rural and regional areas to support families living in those areas and research into genetic causes and prevention of viruses that can cause cerebral palsy.
Intereach ended the month with a total step count of more than 21.5 million and $12,279.33 raised.
The 2020 fundraising tally was $5991. Deniliquin-based senior customer support worker Natalie Chessells said she was proud of the effort all Intereach staff members put in.
She was also pleased to have exceeded her own goals during the month.
In last year’s challenge Ms Chessells clocked up 441,855 steps during September. Last month she made it to 629,811, which places her third in the top five steppers from Intereach.
First was fellow Deniliquin-based staff member Helen Ford who managed an amazing 904,684 steps for the month.
Second was Robert Phillips with 838,529, fourth was Shane Johnson with 609,118 and rounding out the top five was Sarbjit Kaur with 555,360.
Ms Chessells, Ms Ford and their fellow Stepping Outa Lockdown teammates Marie Broadbent and Lisa Druitt racked up a collective 2,218,623 steps to place second in the team results and second in the team fundraising, with $1,830 raised.
First on both lists was You’s Ain’t Bolt with 2,315,579 steps and $2,634 raised.
‘‘I was blown away by the effort from everyone,’’ Ms Chessells said.
‘‘I personally managed to get at least 20,000 steps a day, averaging 21,000 a day.
‘‘There were a few wet days which were harder to get out there.
‘‘I’m tired now and I haven’t walked since the challenge ended.’’
Ms Chessells said the support from family, friends and the wider community was a great motivator.
She said she was particularly honoured to find specially designed kindness rocks left outside her home on day one of the challenge.
She said the way the challenge brought Intereach staff together from right across the footprint was worthwhile.
‘‘All of us came together with one goal, and hopefully we have helped make a real difference.
‘‘There was some great friendly rivalry, which has continued since the end of the challenge.
‘‘The last update on all our totals was signed off with ‘stay tuned for next year’ so I hope we can get a similar response and fundraising tally next year.’’