Earlier this year, we promised a CAFOD water bottle to anyone taking part in our local sponsored walks – the May Day Trek and the Sheffield Night Hike – who managed to get 50 sponsors or more (to celebrate our 50th Anniversary, you see) . Three of our wonderful walkers – David Wood, Fr Don Stoker and Jean-Luc Chartron – all managed this great achievement and last week we belatedly got round to making good on our promise.
Jean-Luc – who raised a fantastic £656 by doing the Night Hike – sent us a lovely email with the story of how he got involved with the Night Hike, and I thought it was worth sharing with you all:
“Thank you very much for the parcel I received today. The water bottle will live in my rucksack which I use every week as we roam around Derbyshire!
“When a friend of mine asked me to join him on a 25 mile sponsored night walk for Christian Aid in 1976 in Sheffield, little did I know then that over 35 years later I would still be involved in the same event! Of course over the years the route has changed, the distance has been reduced to 17 miles and we now have the option of walking for CAFOD – my favourite charity! I must also add that I have not walked every year due to work and holiday commitments, but I have probably not missed more than 10 years altogether.
“I remember, coming from France in my 20’s as a student, how strange this concept of a sponsored event was to me (and still is to my compatriots!) but it also seemed a very clever way of raising money! I also remember, in the early days, how old some of the walkers, who used to come year after year, looked – probably in their 70’s!! Well! When I see the young walkers on the Night Hike (and it is wonderful for them to be there!) I can well imagine what they think when they look at me now!! I only hope, God willing, that I have a few more years left in me before I hang up my boots!
“I am very lucky to have tremendous support from my family, friends and above all the parishioners of St Mary and St Joseph the Worker, Worksop, who never fail to give generously year in year out. I am also very lucky to be in good health to be able to walk fairly long distances on a regular basis but I am only using God’s gift to respond to His call to help the poor on behalf of so many generous compassionate people. It is an honour and a privilege to be able to fundraise for CAFOD and I am very grateful for all my blessings.”
Thank you, Jean-Luc, for your energy and dedication. And thank you to all walkers and sponsors who help make these walks such great events whilst raising money for those most in need in our world.