Between August 23 and 25, members of the community will be raising funds and awareness for YWCA Muskoka women’s and girls’ programs with the YWalk 4 Women & Girls.
Although it is called a walk, the YWCA invites participants to use any method of self-propelled movement including running, biking or paddling.
Katy McGregor, who plans to bike from Newholm to the Brunel Locks on August 24 where she will pass the ‘torch’ to Pamela Steel for her paddle to Port Sydney, is currently the top fundraiser with $575 of her $1,500 goal raised.
“I am a proud woman, I am a proud mother, I am a proud wife, I am a proud entrepreneur, and I am a proud supporter of the YWCA,” said McGregor. “Being a woman can be tough sometimes and this organization takes this statement to a whole new level, they care so much. I felt that the YWalk was a good way for me to create awareness and also to have my beautiful daughter be a part.”
The fundraiser was started by Beth Ward, former executive director of YWCA Muskoka, in 2015. For three years, Ward walked a 200-kilometre loop around Muskoka with some members of the community joining her along the way.
The format changed last year. Participants can now walk anywhere in Muskoka at any time during the weekend. There were more than 30 participants in 2018.
The event has raised more than $50,000 since its inception. The money goes towards YWCA programs (such as Girlz Choice high school-aged programs) and services that support the mental health and wellbeing of women and girls.
“It takes a lot to organize a weekend event like this, especially when it’s entirely volunteer run—the initiative and generosity of community members really makes the YWCA’s impact that much greater,” said YWCA Muskoka executive director, Hannah Lin. “We can’t always count on government and foundation grants. Without fundraising and volunteer-driven events like this one, our women and girls’ programs wouldn’t be happening.”
This year the YWCA’s goal for the YWalk is $15,000. All proceeds go back into the community.
“Women still face violence and poverty in our beautiful home every day. We need to put a stop to it for the sake of women, girls and everyone. When women thrive, families thrive and we need to do everything we can to make sure that happens,” said Pamela Steel, YWCA Muskoka board member for more than eight years.
To register for the walk or to donate to the cause click here.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!