Beachburg – Papa is walking again to raise money.
Last year, the 83-year-old Beachburg man raised just over $120,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario when he walked from Beachburg to Ottawa, a distance of 130 kilometres.
This year, Russell Mackay is walking in five kilometre increments in seven municipalities in Renfrew County in hopes of raising $12,000 for Hospice Renfrew – more if he can.
“We were so overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the good people and companies across the Ottawa Valley last year,” Mr. Mackay said. “This year we are proud to support Hospice Renfrew and hope you will join us to help this important cause.”
Hospice Renfrew is a six-bed residential palliative care home that provide services, free of charge, to all residents of Renfrew County and the nearby area, explained his daughter Crystal Mackay.
“Papa’s first goal is $12,000,” she said. “He wants to buy recliners for each of the rooms.
“Their expert palliative care team provides compassionate end-of-life care that celebrates life,” she continued. “They fundraise nearly half their operating budget each year.”
Papa is planning five-kilometre walks in Petawawa, Deep River, Pembroke, Cobden, Westmeath, Arnprior and Renfrew.
The event begins with an hour-long drive-by rally in Beachburg on Thursday, October 7 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the St. Andrew’s United Church parking lot at the corner of Cameron and Main streets.
The next morning, October 9, the one-and-a-half-hour five-kilometre walk begin.
Mr. Mackay will start his walk at the Petawawa Civic Centre beginning at 9 a.m., walking along Petawawa Boulevard. Two hours later, he will begin a walk in downtown Deep River starting at City Hall at 1 p.m.
Saturday morning, it’s a 9 a.m. walk in downtown Pembroke, starting near the Kiwanis building at Riverside Park. Saturday afternoon, Papa will be at the Cobden Fairgrounds and begin walking around Cobden at 1 p.m. Then it’s off to the Westmeath Arena, where he will do a walk around the hamlet starting at 4 p.m.
The final day is Sunday, October 10 where Papa will walk in downtown Arnprior starting from the Arnprior Legion at 9 a.m.
There will be a parade and cheque presentation at the Renfrew Fairgrounds, which is where the final five-kilometres will be tackled. Papa will walk the track from 1 to 3 p.m. followed by the presentation.
“Join in for a walk and cheer Papa on in a community near you or online,” Ms. Mackay said. “Meet us at the start or finish or along the way of a walk.
“Cheer Papa on and donate to help with this inspirational event and very worth cause.”
Ms. Mackay said donations will be accepted at any of the walk locations; online at Hospital Renfrew website under the Papa Walks for Hospice tab or by calling Renfrew Hospice and donating over the phone.
You can follow Mr. Mackay’s progress each day by visiting the Facebook page Papa Walks for Charity and/or Papa Walks for Hospice.
Connie Tabbert, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader