The joyful walkers of Team Adelaide celebrate in Oxford Mills last weekend. Photo by David Shanahan

North Grenville and district is known as a caring and compassionate place, where people are busy fund raising and trying to take care of others in need. Team Adelaide is one of those groups that make a difference, and this year they are marking a wonderful milestone in their time together.

Team Adelaide is a group of family and friends who have become aware, through personal and family experiences, of how much our local children’s hospitals can change lives, and they gather each year to raise money to give back to those same hospitals. In 2011, inspired by the care received by a member family at SickKids Hospital in Toronto, Team Adelaide came together to raise money in support of Children’s Hospitals by joining the Walk for Miracles being held annually at that point.

Perhaps it is only when your own child, or a child you know, has been in need of the services of places like CHEO that you can really begin to appreciate, not only the fears, trauma and stress that this brings to parents and family, but also the care and support that hospitals like CHEO provide. In addition to the medical services, the medical and support staff play a vital role in caring for children, parents and wider family as they go through a difficult and demanding time.

That is why Team Adelaide walk: to give back, as well as to add their share to meeting the day-to-day needs of the hospital in practical ways. The group began to take part in the Ottawa Walk for Miracles in 2013, and carried on in 2014, raising money for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Even when the Walk no longer carried on, Team Adelaide did, and in both 2015 and 2016 they held a fund raising walk for CHEO.

On Saturday last, Team Adelaide held a walk in Oxford Mills to mark a very special milestone: since they started their efforts on behalf of CHEO in 2013, they have raised more than $53,000, an amazing sum. This year alone, more than $6,000 has been raised so far: $735 through their Garage Sale in June, and the rest through private donations.

Jennifer Hossie, Co-captain of Team Adelaide, told me that others, outside the Team itself, have added to that total. “In some cases, we had neighbours donate some of their own garage sale proceeds to our fundraising, and at least one young girl asked for donations to Team Adelaide in lieu of gifts for her birthday party”.

The group is as varied in membership as it is in the reasons for walking. On the Oxford Mills walk last weekend, the full range was apparent. The youngest walker was Isabelle, who is 2½ years old, while the oldest was Laura, at the great age of 100½! Now that’s a representative group. Both young and old were there to celebrate a fantastic achievement and were in a mood to enjoy the day. Avoiding the rain as they walked around the village on their 2.5 and 5km route, they returned to Maplewood Hall to enjoy sandwiches and refreshments and bask in the knowledge of a job very well done indeed.

To learn more about Team Adelaide and future plans, information is available on their website: www.teamadelaide.net.

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