Okanagan College professor plans to walk 160 km for injured student

Okanagan College English professor Tim Walters setting out from the Penticton campus Tuesday morning on a fundraising walk to support an injured student. Campus to Campus Fundraising Walk/Facebook

An Okanagan College (OC) professor and hiking enthusiast has set out for the longest walk of his life, all in support of a student who recently suffered a brain aneurysm.

Dr. Tim Walters works at the Salmon Arm campus of OC, what he calls a small campus, which allows professors like him to really get to know their students.

One such student is Gary Baker.

“I’ve known Gary and his cousins at the college more or less since I arrived here nine years ago,” Walters said.

“I played soccer with and against him for several years, he’s a very community-minded guy, he’s a volunteer firefighter in Enderby and he’s very family oriented and embedded in the community.”

Baker is a father of four young children and his wife is also a student at Okanagan College.

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Pictured above is Gary Baker, his wife and four children.

“He had a career as a carpenter and a log home builder but he decided that he wanted to come back to college to get a different kind of education so he could switch up his career… his wife basically did the same thing,” Walters said.

According to Walters, it was earlier this month that Baker had a brain aneurysm while playing soccer in Kelowna.

“He’s at Vancouver General Hospital, he’s undergone two major brain surgeries in the past few weeks,” Walters said.

“This has obviously put all kinds of financial strain on the family… so I’m trying to get the college community and the community at large to help him out.”

Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., Walters left Okanagan College in Penticton and will be making his way, on foot, to the college’s campus in Salmon Arm.

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“I don’t have anything like a medical team with me, I’m hoping I wont need one. I do a lot of hiking, that’s my hobby, so I’m in pretty good hiking shape… but I’ve never hiked this much,” Walters said.

He expects the solo journey to take him three days to complete and in that time, he hopes to raise $4,800 for the Bakers.

A GoFundMe page has been created where donations can be made. Walters is updating the public on his journey through a Facebook Page called Campus to Campus Fundraising Walk.

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