A devoted grandfather started a 330 kilometre walk across parts of Labrador Saturday to raise enough money for his grandson to go to a private boarding school in Ontario.
Sebastian Benuen will walk from Churchill Falls all the way to his hometown of Sheshatshiu with his grandson, Aries, by his side in an attempt to raise about $40,000 to send Aries to the Canadian International Hockey Academy.
Due to COVID-19 Benuen hasn't been able to work for the past six months, but said he would do whatever it takes further his grandson's hockey and academic career.
"I don't want him to miss out. I am so proud of him." - Sebastian Benuen
"I told my grandson Aries, I will be there for you no matter what," said 56-year-old Benuen.
Benuen said Aries' father committed suicide when Aries was a little more than a year old, and he's promised the 13-year-old the best life possible.
"After six-years-old, Aries started hockey and I have been supporting him ever since."
Aries was accepted to the prestigious Canadian International Hockey Academy last year, but had to come back to Labrador in March as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up.
Training at the school puts Aries another step closer to reaching his goal of someday playing in the NHL.
"His experience last year was very good to start, but when they told him the school was going to be shut down he was disappointed, and I was disappointed, " said Benuen. "He loves it."
If Benuen is able to afford tuition, Aries would go back in the beginning of October.
Aries has also been selected to represent Canada in the World Cup International Tournament Europe U15 2021.
Benuen said he plans to walk about 50 kilometres a day and is hoping to finish the walk in about eight days.
He said he has been training for a few months and is planning his stops. Benuen is encouraging anyone to come out and walk parts of the journey with him and his grandson.
"I am a little bit nervous and at the same time I am not. I have been with Aries since he was a year and a half old. He's truly my best friend," he said.
"I don't want him to miss out. I am so proud of him."