Hiking 890 km over 40 days, Pete Viol has successfully completed another big challenge with a charitable focus. From late July to early September, he hiked the entire Bruce Trail from Queenston to Tobermory, raising funds for the Regional Cardiac Care Centre at St. Mary’s General Hospital in Waterloo Region.
Now retired from Waterloo Regional Police Services, Sergeant Viol has been taking part in charity bike rides for the past 12 years. This year he exchanged his bike for hiking boots and a trail map.
Community volunteers provided accommodations, drivers, and other assistance. Guest hikers from Waterloo Regional Police, Waterloo Fire, and other avid hikers joined Pete on the trail.
With the support of major sponsors, TRANSIT FUELS and KATLYN INTERNATIONAL, along with many community members who rallied behind the cause, over $24,000 has been raised to date for the Cardiac Centre.
“We’re so grateful to the major sponsors, community donors, and volunteers who made Pete’s hike possible,” said Susan Dusick, President of St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation. “This is his fourth charity event supporting the Cardiac Care Centre, and we’re so inspired by Pete’s ongoing commitment to raising funds for better patient care. “
Fueled by an ever-expanding and aging population, the number of people in our region living with heart disease is increasing. The good news is that being close to specialized cardiac care is shown to significantly improve your chances of surviving heart disease, and our community benefits from having access to one of the top recognized cardiac centres in Canada.
Pete completed his hike at the Northern Terminus Cairn in Tobermory on Labour Day weekend. “Hiking 25 km a day was physically very tough, and I had many challenging days,” said Sergeant Viol. “But my experience is nothing compared to the trials faced by many in our community who deal with serious cardiac issues every day. Their courage inspired me to keep going.”
Online Donations in support of Pete’s 2020 Hike for Heart can be made until the end of September 2020, at supportstmarys.ca/peteviol, or by calling the foundation at 519-749-6539.