Retired 82-year-old farmer walking 125 km to raise funds

Russell Mackay hopes to raise $25,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario

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When Russell Mackay started visiting an eye specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) about 15 years ago, he vowed he would do something to help the kids there.

He plans to walk from his hometown, Beachburg, departing Aug. 24 through the Ottawa Valley to CHEO in Ottawa arriving Sept. 3. That’s more than 125 km in 10 days. While this would be a big goal for anyone, Mackay’s journey is even more inspirational as he is 82, diabetic and legally blind.

“Everyone can do something to help other people,” Mackay said. “And this year we can all use a little more help and good news than usual. This is my small way of making good things happen to help the many kids and their families who rely on CHEO.”

Since selling the family farm two years ago, Mackay, known as Papa to many, walks the sidewalks of Beachburg every day rain or shine. He’s decided to take that walking on the road with the “Papa Walks 4 Kids” fundraiser to help CHEO with the goal to raise $25,000. Many laughs and stories will be shared with family and friends and supporters who join in for the journey.

Individual donations and corporate support are welcome.  Donate online at in the “Papa Walks 4 Kids” event or mail cheques to CHEO Foundation with “Papa Walks 4 Kids” in the subject line to CHEO, 415 Smyth Road, Ottawa ON K1H 8M8.

Follow along on the “Papa Walks 4 Kids” Facebook event page, which will map out the journey.

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