The event that has always been about taking things one step at a time has come a long, long way since it started.
This year's Mayor's Walk is even bigger than last year, says the event's sponsor. The charity event has grown so much it has started to pick up the groups left behind by the collapse of the Great Human Race, a similar event that ran in Edmonton up until this year.
"It looks like our biggest and best year yet," exclaimed Dan Roy of Roy Financial, describing the challenge of building a charity event like this as a battle. “Overall, when you see at least some things growing instead of dying, you can say that it's good."
He keeps pointing out how big it has become. This is its ninth year and it now helps to support 35 charities from St. Albert, Morinville and Edmonton. The last time around, it collected $7,000 more than the previous walk. Right now, however, he is very excited about the Mayor's Purse.
"He surprised us last year with that."
The idea is that Mayor Nolan Crouse has spent some of his scant free time asking businesses and individuals to contribute to a pot. At the end of the Mayor's Walk, that pot will be split between only St. Albert charities on the roster that also have a minimum of $1,000 of their own pledges.
Roy added that is a perfect venue for the conscientious citizens of St. Albert to help their chosen agencies and charities in a few hours of community gathering and civic spirit.
Roy doesn't just talk the big talk about getting in on the action. Every year, he walks in solidarity with hundreds of his fellow citizens all of whom are just looking for a chance to show the city they care.
Roy indicated there's a lot more than just fundraising going on during the event.
"The overwhelming feeling that I get when I'm on that walk is that I really feel the community of St. Albert. It's just all these people who have come together who care, who walk together."
Apart from that, he says that money is just one part of the picture.
"There's a two-pronged approach: we're there to raise money for the people who do the difficult work in our community and we're there to provide moral support by walking with them. To me those two prongs are pretty important, both of them."
The 9th annual Mayor's Walk for Charity takes place on Saturday, June 20 at Lions Park with registration starting at 10 a.m. A barbecue in the park will follow. This year's target is $75,000.
There is no registration fee to enter and 100 per cent of the money raised will be returned to the charities registered with the event. For every $150 in pledges, each participant will have a chance to win the grand prize draw of a $1,000 gift certificate from WestJet.
For more information contact Heather at St. Albert Parents' Place at 780-459-7377 (ext 226) or visit www.royfinancialmayorswalk.com.