After 19 hours and 26 minutes on the ice at Bracebridge’s Memorial Park, $2,754.66 was raised for the Alzheimer Society of Muskoka.
Steve MacNeil spent the entire time on the ice but was joined for five hours by Gravenhurst resident Tom Bruin. MacNeil accounted for $1,664.64 of the total raised, while Bruin bought in $1,090.02.
“We’re a pretty small society so any fundraiser where we can raise this kind of money is a huge help to support all of our programs and services in Muskoka,” Trisha Soja, Resource Development Coordinator for the society, says.
She explains they won’t be using the money for one specific thing. Instead, they will be spreading it over all the programs they have. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the society made the move to transition their programs to be online-only. “We cover a huge area,” Soja says. “It does take a lot of resources to reach everyone in such a big area.
The marathon skate started on Friday, Jan. 28 and ended at 7:26 PM the next day. Bruin joined MacNeil from 7 AM until noon. Throughout the day other people in the community did laps with MacNeil, including Bracebridge’s Mayor Graydon Smith and Deputy Mayor Rick Maloney. Coun. Mark Quemby also joined the fun near the end of the day along with his wife Karen, who is the society’s Executive Director.
“Seeing all the families stop by and join him on the ice was so heartwarming,” Soja says.
She explains that Bruin spent the month leading up to the skate fundraising. “We’re really grateful for his involvement,” Soja says.
When reached for comment, Bruin declined to speak about his involvement instead asking the focus “be given to the programs that the Alzheimer’s society offer locally.”
“When the community comes out of the way they did in Bracebridge on Saturday, all that does is energize me,” MacNeil says.
Just days after finishing the marathon skate, MacNeil was back at work for Canada Post.
He thanks the community for being so welcoming. Of the 31 marathon skates MacNeil has done, he says Bracebridge ranks “right up there at the top” among the other communities he’s been in.