An Okanagan College professor will set out Tuesday on an ambitious three-day trek in an effort to raise money for local student Gary Baker, who suffered a massive brain aneurism in early August.
Tim Walters, an English professor at the Okanagan College Salmon Arm campus and president of the OCFA, the college’s Faculty Association, aims to walk between the Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, and Salmon Arm campuses—a distance of 160 kilometres—setting out Tuesday August 30 and arriving at his destination September 1.
“I’ve known Gary for several years, and I was keen to do something to try to help him and his family,” explained Walters.
Baker, a father of four, was a student at Okanagan College last year, having returned to school to pursue a career in engineering after years of working as a timber framer. On August 1, he suffered a severe brain aneurism while playing soccer, and after undergoing two surgeries is currently recovering in Vancouver—a process that may take many months or even years.
“Gary was a very involved, well-liked member of our close-knit college community,” Walters said. “His family is facing an unimaginably awful situation just now; one that is exacerbated by having to worry about repaying student loans and covering the costs associated with staying at, and travelling to and from, the coast.”
Walters will average 55 kilometres per day during his fundraising walk, and will be posting photographs of his progress on a Facebook page so sponsors can follow along the way.
“My goal is to raise $3200 or more, which works out to $20 for each kilometre that I walk. Breaking it up by kilometre will be a great motivator for me to keep going even when it feels like a slog,” he said.
Sponsors wishing to donate can do so at the GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/campustocampus and follow along the walk in progress at the Facebook page “Campus to Campus Fundraising Walk”.