Following breakfast, the Walk event began with energetic warm-up exercises and opening speeches by sponsors and special guests.
Ms. Salma Zahid, Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre, said, “It really an honour for me to be a part of this BAPS Charities Walk. This money will be going for a great cause to support The Scarborough Hospital. I am very pleased with this initiative of BAPS Charities. The spirit of community building that I see here is remarkable. Initiatives like this build communities and communities build nations.”
Participants between the ages of 4 and 80 then joined together to walk in support of the hospital.
Many children were inspired to raise funds in creative ways. Eight-year-old brothers Manan and Chintan Patel raised funds not only in their own community but also during their family camping trip.
10-year-old Shreeya Patel raised funds by setting up a donation booth and talking to guests about the walk during her house warming party.
Held in seven cities across Canada, and at over 50 locations throughout North America, the annual Walk brings together more than 17,000 people in support of national and local causes. This year, the BAPS Charities Walk also focused on environmental protection efforts. Many North American Walks supported the Nature Conservancy’s goal to plant and restore 1.6 million acres of land by planting one billion trees by 2025 through the Plant a Billion Trees initiative.
BAPS Charities engages volunteers in the service of local communities across five areas: health, education, humanitarian aid, community empowerment and environmental initiatives. A collective spirit of voluntarism enables BAPS Charities to serve cities and suburbs across North America. In addition to annual walkathons, BAPS Charities hosts a variety of programs to support healthy living initiatives such as health fairs, bone marrow and blood drives, and disaster relief operations.
In Canada, BAPS Charities contributes support to local and national organizations including the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Alberta, Sick Kids Foundation in Toronto, The Scarborough Hospital Foundation and the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Support of this work expands charitable efforts across Canadian communities, providing greater opportunities for individuals to serve each other in serving society.