The 36th annual Royal Purple Elks “Walk for Children,” took place in McLennan on May 4.
The “Walk for Children” happens on the first weekend in May each year regardless of the weather, but fortunately this year’s event in McLennan was blessed with reasonably good weather.
“Our region is region 2, which is part of the north. We have three different regions in Alberta and this is region 2 but we all do the Walk for Children,” says Royal Purple Elks member Maggie Gervais.
“There are others in central Alberta and in southern Alberta but all regions do the Walk for Children on the same day because it is all part of the Royal Purple Elks of Canada.”
The objective of the “Walk for Children” fundraiser is to buy specialized equipment for special needs children.
“One of our focuses is hearing, making sure that a kid can hear so we provide money for equipment for that,” says Gervais. “We’ve helped children in the community and in the MD, providing them with an iPad so the school can put on programs for the kids to learn to read or through voice to help the kids to be able to hear.”
In another instance, the Royal Purple Elks provided the family of a deaf child with a specialized pillow that connects to the fire alarm and vibrates if the alarm is activated, letting the child know that there is an emergency.
As the “Walk for Children” rotates between communities in each region, this is the first time since 2003 that McLennan’s Royal Purple Elks hosted the event.
The event, which is also sponsored by the Royal Purple Elks Alberta, attracted approximately 30 registered participants and other members of the community took part in the walk, which raised over $3,000.
“We really appreciate the people who volunteered to put this on and those who came to participate,” says Gervais.
“We think that is an awesome idea to involve the community.”