At 99-years-old, Orpha Thrasher has completed the first of 100 walks she has set as a goal to complete by the time she turns 100 on Feb. 1.
Inspired by Tom Moore, a 99-year-old British veteran who raised millions of dollars for charity, Thrasher said she would like to do something similar before she leaves this earth.
To help local Guelphites, she is raising money for HOPE House Guelph over the next several months through her walks.
Thrasher said she wanted to raise donations for a local charity that will help people within Guelph, as opposed to a charity that sections off donations to various levels.
“My second daughter, who engineered this whole thing pretty much, volunteers there one afternoon a week and she was quite impressed with how many people HOPE House helps,” said Thrasher. “I want to know where my money is going.”
Without a goal in mind, Thrasher said she wants to enjoy the 100 walks and not feel burdened to walk a certain distance every day or every time she is out.
“I don’t want to bind myself to anything particular, I am pretty sure I will be walking every day somewhere,” said Thrasher.
The walks will be at Riverside Park, Woodlawn cemetery and other locations throughout Guelph.
In case of inclement weather in the winter months, Thrasher will walk on the treadmill or do stairs in her building.
In addition to starting her 100-day challenge, a bench was unveiled for Thrasher at Riverside Park next to the windmill.
A place of significance, Thrasher frequently walks by the area near the windmill as her husband of nearly 65 years is commemorated with a plaque and tree adjacent to the windmill.
With a bench in her honour now in the area, Thrasher said this is a memorable place that she can visit and sit on her bench when she is walking if she needs a break.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by MPP Mike Schreiner was held before Thrasher was off for her first walk.
Schreiner announced he would be the first person to donate to HOPE House for Thrasher’s charity walks.