For some, retirement means a time to relax and kick back, but for a group of seniors in the West Island, it’s a time to give back.
When residents of Chartwell’s Manoir Kirkland and Le Wellesley Pointe-Claire were presented with the opportunity to participate in a walkathon to raise funds, they jumped at it.
Or rather walked — every day between 15 and 30 minutes for a whole month.
“I’m really excited to tell you the truth. I never thought I’d get to be this famous but if I had to wait to be 93, we’ll that’s O.K.” said 93 year-old June Kennedy.
Rain or shine, they walked outside in the garden or even in the hallway.
“The days I felt tired I’d take my cane, because there’s a lot of cracks in the cement,” said Joyce Harmony while laughing.
Participants started raising funds by sharing their efforts with their families and community.
“It gave me a captive audience,” joked 75 year-old Margaret Mavor. “I had a ball!”
Organizers chose to give back to NOVA West Island.
They say they noticed that with the COVID-19 crisis, the non-profit wasn’t able to fundraise as usual and they wanted to help in a safe way.
Nova is a non-profit that provides health services, including palliative care and bearevement counselling.
“They were big help during a time of death in my family and I don’t know how my family would’ve managed without them,” said Kennedy.
The organization’s mission inspired 89-year-old Helen Prentice to participate.
“I enjoy walking and I knew there was a purpose for it this time,” Prentice said. “It was the purpose that kept me going every day.”
Their efforts paid off. The seniors raised more than they expected: $11,500.
“This is above and beyond our wildest expectations,” said Marie-France Juneau, NOVA West Island’s executive director.
As for June and her colleagues, they say they’ll keep lending a hand and their legs to a good cause.
“And I’ll go until I’m dead!” said Kennedy.
“That’s for sure,” replied Harmony amid laughter.
The money will go towards maintaining the services that they provide to thousands of clients in the West Island.