Thousands raised during the Red Shoe Crew walks
Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in St. John’s is only a year old, but the charity has a strong support system around the province.
After a successful Red Shoe Crew walk, raising more than $20,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, the New Harbour walkers got to have a piece of cake. Those cutting the cake were, from left, Darlene Brazil, Annette Higdon, Valerie Geary from Ronald McDonald House and Geraldine Gaul.
Located directly across from the Janeway Children’s Hospital, RMH is a convenient location for out-of-town families to stay while their children are undergoing surgeries, treatments or are long-term residents at the only children’s hospital in the province.
The charity relies on fundraising and donations to run Canada’s 14th RMH location, with one of those fundraising events being an annual walk.
The second annual Red Shoe Crew Walk took place in 31 communities around the province with some 2,500 participants.
The walk sees residents from all over raise money to support the families that have to stay in St. John’s while their children stay at the Janeway.
There were five walks in the Trinity, Conception and Placentia region on Sept. 21 and 22.
New Harbour walk
New Harbour hosted a very successful event. Annette and Chris Higdon have been huge supporters of the RMH since the beginning as volunteers. The house had not yet opened its doors when they joined the cause.
There were some 200 people from Whitbourne to Heart’s Desire in Trinity Bay that took part in the event at the local Lions Club.
The group collected some $20,000 for the event, but also had a woman with a “big heart” donate a significant gift.
Geraldine Gaul of Upper Island Cove arrived on the day of the event with a pickup truck filled with household items for RMH.
“Needless to say, the day turned out to be breathtaking,” Annette Higdon wrote in an email. “As the total was revealed, it was a very emotional time for us.”
There were also donations from Avalon Sleeveens — $1,000 from a summer fun day fundraiser — and In Kind, who donated $5,000 in household items.
The Placentia town hall was buzzing with activity as the Red Shoe Crew Walk began. The group had more than 100 participants take part in the walk on Sept. 22.
Organized by Camille Bryan and a group of moms of preschool aged children, the event proved successful with a total amount raised of over $11,000.
The Town of Placentia supplied food at the end of the walk and the Stepping Stones family resource centre provided prizes.
When the Red Shoe walk organizers approached the Town of Placentia to get involved, the mothers at the resource centre immediately hopped on board.
“It struck home to us,” Camille explained in a phone interview with The Compass. “None of us have had to use it personally yet, but it’s one of those things where you never want to use it. There’s a comfort in knowing it’s there.”
Point Lance resident Margie O’Keefe was the top fundraiser, raising some $500. That was more than the $300 raised at last year’s event.
Placentia interest grew from last year — having only two participants — to having 100 walkers partake in the event.
Camille said the group is already planning for next year’s event, and the whole community is proud of the success this year.
Hant’s Harbour walk
Samantha Ash and a committee of youth from Hant’s Harbour on the south shore of Trinity Bay organized an event at the Hant’s Harbour Sports Complex.
It was led by the Hant’s Harbour fire department.
Some 50 walkers took part in the event, including a Girl Guide troop from Old Perlican.
With the support of local businesses, committees, organizations and individuals, the group raised more than $5,000 for the RMH.
The Town of Hant’s Harbour, Hant’s Harbour recreation commission and the local Lions Club also generously donated to the cause.
The top fundraiser for the event was Naomi Seaward from Gooseberry Cove, who raised over $500.
Conception Bay North walks
Daisy Dawe was quite busy for the Red Shoe Crew Walks, since she organized the events in Conception Bay North’s two biggest towns — Carbonear and Bay Roberts.
Bay Roberts hosted its event at the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex Saturday, Sept. 21, while Carbonear’s event took place at the Carbonear Recreation Complex the following day.
Daisy, her mother Diane, father Bill and sister Jessica organized both walks, with Daisy calling it a “real family effort.”
Jennifer Greeley of Bay Roberts and her daughter Myla were the top fundraisers at the Bay Roberts walk, which saw some 25 participants.
The mother-daughter team raised $300 of the $2,500 donated.
In Carbonear, 30 participants gathered at the soccer field on Valley Road.
Brenda Baldwin from Victoria raised over $400 for the event, and was named top fundraiser. The event raised some $3,500.
Carbonear’s event hosted a special guest, CJ Whelan. She told the crowd about her experience at the Ronald McDonald House, and brought a personal perspective to the assistance the facility offers.
Daisy told The Compass grocery stores gave gift cards, and the organizers decided to donate them to the RMH to help stock their pantry.
Daisy said it was so much fun organizing the events and is looking forward to next year.