ly started as a fundraiser for the Society for the Protection of Ayum Creek 15 years ago.
Dave Nash, President of the Juan de Fuca Ramblers Volkssport Club, organized this event after seeing the Lions 64 Km Great Walk up in Gold River-Tahsis. After two successful years raising money for Ayum Creek, the next five years were in support of the Trans Canada Trail.
Eight years ago, Dave decided to approach the Sooke Lions Club to see if they would like to take on this event as a fundraiser for their projects. Not only did they like the idea, they also recruited a new member and Lion Dave has been the director of the 32 Km Galloping Goose Walk ever since!
This walk starts from the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre (Westshore Parks and Recreation Arena) in Colwood and follows the Galloping Goose Trail to Sooke – a distance of 32 km. Due to the start point and the seven checkpoints needed, the Sooke Lions Club is assisted by the Westshore Lions Club (originally South Van Isle and Metchosin Lions Clubs) as well as the Sooke District Lioness Club.
An average of about 120 walkers have done this walk each year, raising funds for the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities (Camp Easter Seal at Camp Shawnigan). Many of our walkers return yearly, because they enjoy the event and the fabulous scenery and also because they want to support Camp Easter Seal or a charity that is special to them. Walkers can choose to pledge to the camp or to support a charity of their own choice, but all profits from the event go to Camp Shawnigan. None of the Lions Clubs takes any funds from this event after expenses are paid.
This is a great training event for walkers planning to do the 64 Km Great Walk in June or the 56 Km Great Lake Walk around Lake Cowichan in September.
We appreciate the local community support from the many folks who have provided prizes or donations to the camp each year. Thanks to these wonderful businesses, we will have lots of draw prizes for our participants. There will be a special prize draw for anyone who has made a donation or pledge to Camp Shawnigan. Tax receipts for the Lions charity only are issued by the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities.
Walkers can pre-register through the website or at the Running Room and Frontrunners, or register on the day. Check-in at the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre is between 7 and 8 a.m. on May 7. The walk starts promptly at 8 a.m. This is primarily a walking event, but runners can participate. It is not a bicycling event. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Leashed dogs in good condition are welcome.
There are a total of seven checkpoints along the route, with snacks and beverages for the walkers, and of course, portable potties.
Each year, we have been assisted by the Base Amateur Radio Operators from the Esquimalt Base. Volunteers at the checkpoints will drive any walkers unable to complete the distance to the finish after their control point closes. The majority of walkers do complete the entire distance, usually within about five to seven hours. Runners begin arriving at the finish in about three hours.
The fee is $25 until May 6, $30 if registering on the day. Pledges and donations are optional.
After 14 years of ending at the Sooke River Hotel, this year the walkers will finish at the Sooke Region Museum where the Lions and museum volunteers will be serving hamburgers and drinks. We provide vans to transport the walkers back to the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre.
All walkers receive a certificate as well as a special event medal, newly designed for this year.
For further information, or to register for the walk, please contact Dave at 250-642-4515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The registration and pledge form is also available at http://www.sookedistrictlioness.org/2011_32_km_reg_form.pdf
Submitted by Sooke Lion Dave Nash and Sooke District Lioness Gail Nash