Pitt Meadows man raises money by walking 80 laps around his block for his 80th birthday
PITT MEADOWS -- 2020 is a milestone year for Brian Porter. This is the year he turns 80. But he wanted it to be more than just a celebration, he wanted to give back.
Every year, Porter takes part in the annual Fund Run, raising money for the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation. Like so many events in 2020, it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still wanting to do something, Porter found inspiration from Britain's beloved “Captain Tom,” who walked around his garden 100 times for his 100th birthday, raising more than $57 million for NHS Charities Together.
“My granddaughter came up with the idea,” Porter told CTV News Vancouver on Sunday. “She said, ‘let's do 80 laps for 80 years, papa. What do you think?’ And I said, ‘That’s a great idea.’”
His granddaughter, Taryn Antalek, helped set up the donation link and shared it online.
“It kind of went from there and people started sharing and supporting him,” Antalek said.
Each lap around Porter’s community complex is roughly 600 meters and takes about 10 minutes to complete, though the timing can change.
“It depends how many neighbours are out,” Porter said. “Some want to stop and talk. Others will stop to donate. So, it's just been phenomenal.”
Sunday marked the final lap of the 80-lap challenge. Brian wore a shirt his family made that said “Walking 80 Laps for 80 Years” and neighbours came out to walk it with him, his granddaughter by his side.
“I’m so, so proud of him and being able to support him and be along with him for his 80th lap was super special,” Antalek said.
At last count, Brian has raised more than $3,000. His original goal was $1,000.
“It’s amazing that so much could be done from me doing so little,” Porter said. “What a great birthday gift, $3, 000 to the hospital foundation. Fantastic. I’m so happy.”
Ron Antalek, Taryn’s father and the chair of the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation, said Porter’s efforts show how innovative people can be.
“Hopefully he inspires other people in our community to do something like this and we add it all up,” he said. “We might get our $35,000 that we would have raised at the Fund Run.”