Lunenburg centenarian raises money for VON

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>YOUTUBE/NANCY REGAN</p><p>Joy Saunders gestures before heading out for a walk.</p>

Lunenburg centenarian Joy Saunders, taking a page from another centenarian across the pond, is pounding the pavement daily in her neighbourhood to benefit a worthy cause.

Saunders, 101, with walking poles in each hand, takes to the streets for half-hour jaunts to raise money for the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), a registered charity for which she volunteered and used services.

Moved by the tragedy in Colchester County and the ongoing challenges surrounding the global pandemic, Saunders was motivated to "do something," she told CBC News, and came up with the fundraising walk after learning about the U.K.'s Tom Moore.

Leading up to his 100th birthday in late April, Moore, a Second World War veteran, gained notoriety for raising money for hospital charities by walking laps around his garden. He was later awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II after raising millions of dollars.

Service to country is something Saunders shares with Moore.

The CBC network said it was near the end of World War II when Saunders, with the Canadian Women's Army Corps at the time, received her commission "and went overseas to be in Europe on VE-Day."

Saunders has set specific goals as she walks in support of charity.

"I chose a walk that would be 0.8 kilometres, and if I do that 102 times I should be able to do it before my 102nd birthday," Saunders, whose birthday is in October, told CTV News.

The VON, a nationally-recognized non-profit organization, was the easy choice as a recipient of her deed.

"I have a great admiration for them. They work hard, they never complain. They go into houses where they don't know the people, they don't know what they're going into, but they do it," she explained to CTV.

As of May 22, Saunders's fundraising campaign had raised more than $52,000 toward VON's meal delivery, transportation programs and other community services that aid seniors and persons with disabilities.

To learn more, or to donate, go to https://www.von.ca/donate-Joy on the internet.

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