Blisters, Bites and Benevolence

Have you ever celebrated a milestone birthday by getting blisters and mosquito bites? That’s what Carol Evans did recently for her 60th. Carol, who lives on Prince Edward Island, decided to walk the length of her province – about 270 km along the Confederation Trail. It took this grandmother eight exhausting days, some of it through sweltering heat and clouds of biting bugs. Her point? She managed to raise over $22,000 towards an echocardiogram machine for her local hospital. (Side observation: Just why are these physical endeavours always so successful in raising charitable funds? Maybe because of what instantly goes through the minds of most of the rest of us: “Better you than me [sound of wallet opening].”)

Click on this CBC podcast to listen to Carol chat – exceptionally cheerfully, considering it’s Day Eight – about her experience. Carol, I don’t know you, but next time I have a glass in my hand, I’m giving you a birthday toast.

Last year I held a small fundraiser for my own milestone birthday. (Hint: I’m younger than Carol Evans… but, come to think of it, possibly less fit.) We didn’t collect anywhere near the price tag of a fancy piece of medical equipment, but we did raise enough to cover a month’s health-care costs and supplies for a medically fragile little boy in Saskatchewan.

When I went online ahead of the occasion to research my party plans, I saw a ton of other fantastic ideas out there. So I know lots of you are out there making your own celebrations make a difference. I’d love to hear your ideas – how have you marked your own coming-of-age with meaning?

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