Debby Baker, Madam Vice President of the Ladysmith Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary #2101 is embarking on a virtual walk from Ladysmith, B.C. to the Dalles, Oregon. Baker will walk a total distance of 671km over 99 days around her community to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Alzhemier’s disease, and the Golden Eagle Fund.
“The idea is that I’ll walk my kilometers around different spots on the Island, and post things about where I’m at. This will give people a chance to see what our community is all about,” Baker said.
Baker is the Pacific Northwest Regional Conference charity chair for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, muscular dystrophy, and the Golden Eagle Fund. The Pacific Northwest Regional Conference is comprised of all Eagles Auxiliaries from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. If Baker was to actually walk to The Dalles, she would cross through 25 different auxiliaries.
“Some of those people are also interested in participating. They’re going to send some pictures of their areas, so people can follow the story, and do the travel without actually going anywhere,” Baker said.
The end of the virtual walk will coincide with the beginning of the Pacific Northwest Conference.
Baker is no stranger to travelling long distances by foot. She previously ran marathons, and ultra-marathons. Baker completed the Gold River to Tahsis marathon – which has a total distance of 64km – 11 times, she also ran for Team Diabetes Canda in international marathons. Baker has run marathons in Rome, Reykjavik, and New York.
“The 671km is a little under the mileage you would do if you were training for a marathon,” Baker said.
In her role as charity chair, Baker is responsible for motivating Eagles Auxiliaries throughout the Pacific Northwest Regional Conference to raise funds for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, muscular dystrophy, and the Golden Eagle Fund. All of the funds raised will remain in the local communities they were raised from.
“Every dollar that’s raised here is going to stay here and benefit the people in this area,” Baker said. “Those funds will be donated equally to the four different charities.”
COVID-19 has had a large impact on the Eagles’ traditional fundraisers. Baker said she came up with the idea for the virtual walk as a way to raise funds during the pandemic, and ensure the partner charities will have access to the resources they need.
Donations can be made to FOE Auxiliary, Box 239, Ladysmith V9G 1A2 or etransfer to Ladysmithvirtualwalk@gmail.com