Papa Walks for a new cause
Article published on 7 October 2021
last modification on 8 October 2021
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An 83 year-old Beachburg man who grew up in the Pontiac is doing his second charity walk this coming weekend. Russell Mackay, who goes by Papa to those that know him, is looking to raise money for Hospice Renfrew by walking 33 km over three days in various parts of Renfrew county. His daughter Crystal said that despite his age and the fact that he’s diabetic and legally blind, Russell walks about 8 km daily and is committed to helping those around him.

Russell Mackay with supporters after his walk to CHEO last year. Photo courtesy of Crystal Mackay.

Last year, he made headlines by walking from Beachburg to Ottawa to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. As Crystal explained, they started out with a goal of raising $25,000 but ended up blowing past that total to finish with more than $120,000 for the children’s hospital.

Crystal said that as soon as Russell finished his walk last year, he was looking for his next project, and landed on an organization a little closer to home.

To make a donation directly to Hospice Renfrew, visit their website hospicerenfrew.ca and check “Papa Walks for Hospice” under the allocation tab. You can follow along virtually on the Papa Walks for Hospice event page on Facebook, or show up in person to cheer him on.

Papa Walks for Hospice Renfrew schedule
DateTime (finish times are approximate)LocationDescription/Route
Thursday (Oct. 7) 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. St. Andrew’s United Church Parking Lot, Beachburg Drive by, donate & cheer Mackay on
Friday (Oct. 8) 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (gathering starts at 8:30, walk starts at 9 a.m.) Petawawa Civic Centre (16 Civic Centre Rd.) Mackay will walk down Petawawa Blvd.
12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (gathering starts at 12:30, walk starts at 1 p.m.) Deep River Town Hall (100 Deep River Road) Mackay will walk the downtown of Deep River
Saturday (Oct. 9) 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (gathering starts at 8:30, walk starts at 9 a.m.) Riverside Park (near Kiwanis Building), Pembroke Mackay will walk the downtown of Pembroke
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (gathering starts at 11:30, walk starts at 1 p.m.) Cobden Fairgrounds (43 Astrolabe Rd) Mackay will walk throughout Cobden
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. (gathering starts at 3:30, walk starts at 4 p.m. Westmeath Arena (119 Synton St.) Mackay will walk throughout Westmeath
Sunday (Oct. 10) 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (gathering starts at 8:30, walk starts at 9 a.m.) Arnprior Legion (49 Daniel St. N) Mackay will walk throughout downtown Arnprior
12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (gathering starts at 12:30, walk starts at 1 p.m.) Renfrew Fairgrounds (117 Veterans Memorial Blvd.) Mackay will walk the track between 1 and 3 p.m, a parade and cheque presentation will take place at 3:30 p.m.

The full interview with Crystal Mackay is available here.

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