It was a long trek, but it was worth it for Sister Evelyn Nedelec, who managed to raise more than $5,000 in her 50-kilometre Walkathon earlier this week.
The funds raised will help with some of the costs to replace the siding of her hometown church: the St. Hippolyte Catholic Parish in Vawn.
She raised funds from donations from parishioners at St. Joseph Calasanctius Catholic Parish in North Battleford where she attends Mass, from her workplace at Villa Pascal nursing home in North Battleford, and from people in the local and surrounding communities.
“I’m pretty amazed that people were so supportive and so generous,” Sister Evelyn said. She had initially hoped to raise only $1,000, so she was surprised when people kept contributing more money for the cause.
Nedelec walked 50 kilometres over a two-day stretch on Monday and Tuesday, leaving from St. Joseph Calasanctius Catholic Parish in North Battleford on Monday morning, and arriving at St. Hippolyte Catholic Parish in Vawn Tuesday afternoon.
Several people also joined her in the Walkathon. Her sister-in-law Corinne Nedelec followed the group in her vehicle part of the way, and helped drive some of the walkers back to their own vehicles when they were ready to stop.
“I made it up to Meota the first day, and the second day I had a shorter day from Meota to Vawn,” Sister Evelyn said.
“The first day when I got over 30 kilometres it was starting to get a little tiring,” she said of the daunting trek. She walked for seven-and-a-half hours before resting for the day.
“By the time I got to Meota, I was ready to stop. But it gave me seven kilometres less to do the next day, so it went well.”
Sister Evelyn spent more than four hours walking from Meota before finishing the last leg of the event, and arriving at her home parish in Vawn just before noon.
She said St. Hippolyte Catholic Parish is “very grateful” for the Walkathon fundraiser and everyone’s contributions to help the project. The parish in Vawn has been collecting donations as well.
Nedelec said the church’s siding is “pretty weather-worn” and badly in need of repairs so she is pleased the funding will help. St. Hippolyte Catholic Parish was first built in 1914 in Saint Hippolyte, Sask., before later being moved to Vawn.
“Thanks you to everyone who was so supportive, who gave or prayed for me, or walked with me, and helped in whatever way,” Sister Evelyn said. “I just want to say a big thank you to everybody.”
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