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Senior’s walk-a-thon raises $5,000 for Pioneer Lodge


Pioneer Lodge resident Elisabeth Pfeffel, 98, raised $5,000 in her walk-a-thon. She donated the money to Willow Creek Foundation for seniors’ recreation and entertainment at Pioneer Lodge.

A 98-year-old Pioneer Lodge resident turned her daily walks into a major fund-raiser in support of her senior neighbours.

Elisabeth Pfeffel raised $5,000 — twice her original goal — in her own individual walk-a-thon in support of senior entertainment at the lodge.

“Elisabeth sets an excellent example,” Willow Creek Foundation board chair Maryanne Sandberg said. “We’re so proud of her.”

The money will be used to buy a bench and cement pad on the perimeter of the lodge grounds. There will be a plaque recognizing Elisabeth and the donors.

Any remaining money will go to other needs, and people can continue to contribute by e-transfer to cao@wcfound.com or by cheque to the Willow Creek Foundation.

Elisabeth has been a resident of Pioneer Lodge for the past two years and has made walking part of her routine.

The walk-a-thon began to take shape when lodge fund-raising opportunities came to a halt because of the restrictions placed on care facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elisabeth decided to take on some individual fund-raising in celebration of her 98th birthday.

Her goal was to complete 98 loops around the facility and garden, a distance of about eight kilometres.

She set a fund-raising goal of $2,500 to help buy supplies for activities and entertainment for the lodge residents.

Emil Wettstein, Elisabeth’s friend and fellow resident at Pioneer Lodge served as coach, loop counter and cheerleader in the walk-a-thon.

About 50 donors contributed pledges to the walk-a-thon, with Elisabeth’s children topping the fund up to reach $5,000.

A $980 donation came from McLennan’s Cocktail and Cue Pub in Coaldale through a long-time family connection.

Elisabeth and her husband Hans had a business in Coaldale that was next to the pub and became friends  with the owners.

When the family learned of Elisabeth’s walk-a-thon, the pub contributed to the fund-raising.

While the walk-a-thon is completed, Elisabeth has no plans to put her feet up and rest.

“I will keep walking,” she said with a smile.

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