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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Ninety-year-old children’s hospice volunteer walks 300ks to help sick kids

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At 90 years of age, Athol Alcorn shows more stamina than many people half his age.

The legally blind, nonagenarian, on the weekend wrapped up a 300km walk from Kilkivan (near Gympie) to Ipswich to raise funds for Queensland’s only children’s hospice, Hummingbird House.

Alcorn has volunteered at Hummingbird House since 2016, tending the gardens to ensure they remain a beautiful respite for babies, children and young people with a life-limiting condition and their families.

Volunteer Athol Alcorn, 90, takes a break during his epic 300km walk in Queensland. Hummingbird House GM, Dr Fiona Hawthorne, says Alcorn is always willing to give his time at the hospice, but the walk is really going above and beyond.

The spritely senior cooked up the idea to do the walk, aided by a group of friends from his local church group and was joined along the way by some of the staff from Hummingbird House.

The group set off on June 21 and finished on the afternoon of Sunday, July 3.

Long term friend, Jason Brown is accompanying Alcorn on the journey

“While he has endured some nasty blisters, Athol hasn’t had any issues and is leading the way with fierce determination, already planning his next adventure,” Brown said.

We’ve visited many local pubs for dinner and each morning Athol likes to find the local bakery to pick up a simple corned beef and pickle sandwich for his lunch. He is very humble and is really overwhelmed with the well wishes and donations being made to Hummingbird House on his behalf.

Longtime friend, Jason Brown

“We have met so many nice country folk along the way and Athol loves nothing more than to chat to people from each town and hear a little of their story.

“We’ve visited many local pubs for dinner and each morning Athol likes to find the local bakery to pick up a simple corned beef and pickle sandwich for his lunch.

“He is very humble and is really overwhelmed with the well wishes and donations being made to Hummingbird House on his behalf.”

Hummingbird House general manager, Dr Fiona Hawthorne, said Alcorn was always willing to give his time at the hospice, but the walk was really going above and beyond.

“It’s wonderful volunteers like Mr Alcorn that really make Hummingbird House a special place,” she said.

“Mr Alcorn epitomises the true spirit of giving back to the community, we are proud of him and his achievement….”

So far Alcorn has raised over $18,000, surpassing his initial goal of $10,000 within just a few days.

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