Cross country journey raising funds for care facility

Cindy Cooper set a goal to virtually walk across Canada this year. So far she is more than half way and hopes to raise $10,000 for two Calgary care facilities along the way

All her cross-country journey has cost Cindy Cooper so far is six pairs of running shoes.

"A pair of runners lasts about 4 -500 kilometres," said Cooper. "So we'll go through a few pairs of shoes but you know what, it's a cheap membership really."

Cooper set off January 1st, 2021 with a goal of walking across Canada as the crow flies. For motivation she decided to make her walk a fundraiser for the Father Lacombe and Providence Care Centres in Midnapore. The Father Lacombe Care Foundation raises well over $1 million annually for the facilities.

"We're a non-profit organization," said Pat Dolan, chairman of the Father Lacombe Care Foundation. "We raise funds for a variety of programs here, not only capital campaigns but ongoing programs."

During February's cold snap Cooper walked on her basement treadmill. Now that Calgary is reaching record high temperatures she is again in the air conditioned basement. Usually she walks the trails in Fish Creek Provincial Park. She's broken her year long trek down into manageable daily distances.

"Total kilometres I need to go is 4,473," said Cooper. "So I basically devised that by 365 which means it's 12 and a quarter kilometres each day which really isn't that much, you just have to do it every day."

The 65-year-old was looking for a way to push herself and not stay physically dormant during this time of COVID-19 lockdowns. Her husband Brian is supporting her and proud of her goal. He's helping her with a way to keep track of her daily kilometres on the computer.

"She enters in her number of steps and number of miles or kilometres and the spread sheet calculates out her cumulative (total)," said Brian. "And how many she has yet to go and what percentage she is of the trip."

Cooper has set a goal of $10,000 for her journey. Money that will go towards physiotherapy equipment for residents of the care facilities.

"When we can get up and get moving," said Dolan. "And I'm not going to walk across Canada but Cindy is, she's going to raise funds for this organization, I think it's terrific."

Cooper's mom Winnifred has lived at the care facility for the last three years.

"Mom is 88 years young, still loves to walk whenever she can, unfortunately she has sever dementia which is why she's in the home," said Cooper. "She'd probably want to come with me, she'd be right beside me."

According to the map and her total kilometres, Cooper has walked as far as Rossport Ontario.

"I gave myself to December 31st, 2021," said Cooper. "Right now I'm a month ahead so that would put me to the end of November, but who knows, maybe towards the end we can hold a 50/50 draw or something and say guess the date!"

Learn more about Cindy's Walk here: