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2015 Walkathon in Photos
Here are the 16 walkers who took part in the 2015 walkathon - in photos here, in memory of Mark Jenkins, and to raise funds for our mailing this fall of There is Hope to the last homes in Nova Scotia. This will be our third year mailing to postal codes in that province.
Besides these special people, Joe Homontowski manned the BBQ of the moose sausage for the picnic to follow for all, and Ruth Friesen was the photographer, tallied the funds raised, and made a list of prize-winners. (She also cut buns, etc.)
The last couple of years have been rainy on our Walkathon date, so we were glad to see the sun shinning so brightly. However, it was about 30 degrees Celsius, so some found it rather warm.
The Kinsmen Park, our traditional meeting place was still not available as it is under construction to become a large, Playland with many venues for family fun. So we decided this year to meet in the Meewasin Park area, which has a number of picnic spots, most of them with a BBQ pit incorporated into the setting. Our earliest arrivals picked a nice shady area just over the grassy knoll from the parking lot.
It was decided that the walk would start from this picnic area, with the walkers going as far as the Mark Jenkins' tree up the trail, then turn around and come back for the noon picnic. This is not exactly the same distance as starting from the tree and walking all the way back to the Kinsmen Park, but almost. (This needs to be evaluated yet, but it might prove the best plan for future Walkathons).
Barb and Doug Jenkins who have helped with this Walkathon since they first suggested it, were away at an important graduation in Alberta, but had asked their friends Al and Lana Kirchgessner to step in and see to the opening memorial service before the walk. This they did, with Al reading the devotional thoughts Barb had written for this occasion. Arnold Stobbe, our Director opened with prayer. Then we had the annual group photo op, and they were off.
Our 16 walkers included Linda and Frank Porter, Lana and Al Kirshgessner, Arnold Stobbe, Priscilla McCormick, Esther Ruten, Wayne Senger, Conner and Michelle Schick, Penny Homontowski, and the Letkeman family, Dustin and Carlene, with their children, Timothy, Cassidy and Emily. This was their first time.
Others, like the Derksens of Rosthern were not able to come. Judy Giesbrecht had collected a good sum of sponsor monies, but was not able to make it either, and Ed Stobbe had walked the trail the day before, when it was not quite so hot.
In fact, Al Kirchgessner did not walk, but took the role of the driving the support truck up and down Spadina, in case anyone found that they could not bear the heat and had to get a ride back to the picnic area. This was required for two walkers.
Return of the Walkers
The first walker back is usually - Priscilla! She did it again!
This is a praise item to God, for the day before she had a migraine headache, and we were not sure she could make it.
She also raised the most money; over $3800.
Wayne Senger was the second one back.
He deserves special mention because he had already walked that morning, all the way from his apartment on Idyllwyld Drive to the Meewasin Park, had a problem with his shoe, and yet he cheerfully walked the whole Walkathon distance.
Arnold was the third walker to appear. He came with a prize painting under his arm, so he had stopped in the parking lot.
We often tease him about his many friends. They sponsor him heavily, for they are impressed that he is still willing to walk at his age. (87).
Actually, in retrospect, Priscilla and I are convinced that the ones who support our Walkathon so well, do so because they believe in our plan to mail There is Hope systematically, to every home across Canada - as we are able to raise funds year by year.
As the walkers arrived they headed to the picnic tables and it was decided that they could cool off by eating watermelon before the picnic proper started.
Everyone was grateful for the shade of the trees!
Conner, Michelle and Esther got back next. They didn't appear tired at all.
Last year, walking in the rain from the Barth' house, Conner had come alone, but with a wedding in his near future. This time his wife Michelle had come with him.
Esther's husband, Michael, was taking a turn this year looking after the two young children, but he brought them in time for the picnic.
Last to arrive were Emily and her mother, Carlene Letkeman, and Penny Homontowski.
They were feeling fine, but had to wait a while, when Emily was trying to decide if she would catch the truck back or continue walking to the end. She chose to finish the walk.
Joe had barbecued the moose sausage in cuts that meant the weiner buns could be cut in half and used as mini hamburger buns. This meant that everyone was willing to have more than one. Or several!
There were browned onions and condiments to go with them. Bottled water and watermelon for dessert - a simple but filling picnic menu.
Everyone found a place to sit and visit informally as we ate and rested.
Another relaxed scene as we were comfortable in the shade with the nice breezes passing through the area.
Some had brought lawn chairs and so it all worked out well.
Another view of the picnic scene from another angle.
Handing out the Token Prizes
Arnold had the list of walkers and funds raised, from the most to the least, and the time came when he announced to our great delight and cheers, that the sum raised so far - was $10,430!! (We were aware of some amounts to come in yet).
The prizes were gift cards or certificates from, certain stores as their contribution, and a few items Lynn Moen had been able to choose from Canadian Tire. Priscilla had packaged some of them in pretty gift bags.
As Arnold called the names with the highest sponsor monies brought in first, each one was allowed to go choose a prize.
Here Al was choosing one on behalf of the Jenkins' who had come fourth, even though they were not able to be present.
Here Esther Ruten is holding daughter Autumn while choosing a prize.
There were enough to go around so that even Wayne, who had not expected a prize, was able to take the last one.
After this we packed up and headed to our homes. All were satisfied that even though attendance was not as high as in the past, this had been a successful Walkathon with lovely weather!