We awoke Sunday to cool weather (12 C) and showers.
The cool wasn’t a problem because warm weather and people with kidney disease aren’t a good match.
But the drizzle . . .
Well, if you have been, or are being, impacted by kidney disease, what’s a little rain? Right?
And so it was that more than 100 people were at McDonald Park on Kamloops’ North Shore on Sunday for the city’s 10th annual Kidney Walk.
Not all of them took part in the walk, which always follows Rivers Trail for more than one kilometre to McArthur Island, but they all were there to show support to people in our community who are dealing with kidney disease or to remember friends and loved ones.
We couldn’t have done it without Larry Read, the sports information guru for the WolfPack at Thompson Rivers U. He is our emcee, and he brought along six athletes from the WolfPack swim team and, oh boy, what a big help they were. This wasn’t the first time Larry brought volunteers from TRU, and it is a tremendously positive feeling to see these young people so eager to help at an event like this one.
With Larry at the controls, we saluted Hugh McLennan and Louis (Big Rig) McIvor as the honourees for the 2019 Walk. Hugh, a rancher, is the host of the Spirit of the West podcast and a familiar figure in the cowboy world in Alberta and B.C. When he needed a kidney almost two years ago, he got
one from Big Rig, a long-time friend who is a former long-haul driver and radio personality.
They were introduced by Edna Humphreys, the executive director of the Kamloops chapter of the B.C. and Yukon Branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Hey, if there’s a renal-related event in Kamloops, you can bet that Edna is the push behind it.
We went into this walk with a goal of raising $20,000. By the time the counting is done, we will be somewhere around $24,000, which is unbelievable. In all of our pre-walk chatter, I don’t once remember anything close to that figure being mentioned.
In 2018, we raised $21,764, after bringing in $16,736 in 2017.
There was some excitement late in the program, too.
The Brock Central Lions Club was there, again, to provide us with a pancake breakfast, along with sausages and coffee, all by donation.
So with most of the folks already eating and a few in line to fill their plates, a cry went up: “Stop her! Stop her! She took the money box.!!”
It seems that a person had appeared on the scene, got in line for breakfast, then grabbed the cash box and took off on the run.
However, her plan hadn’t accounted for Allan Dodds, who when he isn’t playing Superman works at Lordco in Kamloops. His connection with us? His wife, Julie, has kidney disease and is in need of a transplant.
Anyway . . . Allan took off after the thief, caught up with her and brought back the money.
As Julie wrote on her Facebook page: “My husband not only helped set up . . . and with the delivery of chairs and tables, he helped present a large cheque, and also chased down a would-be thief.”
In the end, the Lions Club raised $326.90, all of which, thanks to Allan, was there to be donated to the Kidney Walk.
If we were to give out an MVP award this year, it would go to Allan. As a member of the Southern Central B.C. branch of the CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum), he presented the Kidney Walk with a cheque for $5,000 in late August.
Through Lordco, he was able to provide us with a truck with which he picked up tables and chairs from the good folks at TRU. He also supplied, again through Lordco, a large canopy that really came in handy considering the weather.
And, of course, he topped it all off by jumping into a phone booth — OK, there aren’t any of those these days; he just went behind the Lordco truck — where he donned the Superman suit and went on to rescue the money.
Dorothy says: Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!
With help from so many of you, she was able to raise $3,230 for Kamloops’ 10th annual Kidney Walk, which was held on Sunday morning.
With such great support from so many terrific people, she was the leading fund-raiser for a sixth straight year, and she now has raised more than $16,000 in total.