Ann pounds pavement for the RFDS

Ann pounds pavement for the RFDS

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 Ann McLeish (in orange) with Newdegate Primary School students and support crew.

Ann McLeish (in orange) with Newdegate Primary School students and support crew.

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Since 2008, she has raised more than $200,000 for the RFDS.

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IT'S NOT every day a 75-year-old grandmother walks 222 kilometres for a worthy cause.

But that's what Ann McLeish did recently, walking from Narrogin to Newdegate to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

"A farmer offered me 100 bucks to do the walk, so that's what started it off," Ms McLeish said.

Having had a few of her family members who have received medical attention from the RFDS prompted Ms McLeish to donate her time to raising awareness and money for the essential service.

"One family member used the RFDS for maternity and one was hit in the face with a hockey ball and the RFDS were fabulous," Ms McLeish said.

Accompanied by her sister Rosemary O'Hara, 65 and grandson Hayden, 24, Ms McLeish spoke to Farm Weekly while walking and, at the time of writing, had raised about $10,000 since the start of her walk.

"We stopped halfway between Narrogin and Wagin, halfway between Wagin and Dumbleyung, stayed at Dumbleyung, Kukerin, Tarin Rock, Lake Grace and tonight we will stop halfway between Lake Grace and Newdegate," Ms McLeish said.

"The Lions Club fed us breakfast in Lake Grace and then handed over a $300 cheque, so people have been really generous.

"We get a few weird looks from passing vehicles but we have picked up quite a few donations along the way."

Not her first 'rodeo', the Narrigon grandmother has previously completed two walks from Narrogin to Perth and Narrogin to Albany to raise money for the RFDS.

"Since 2008 I've raised more than $200,000 and my goal when I started this walk was to reach $200,000, but we're already over it, having raised $202,000," Ms McLeish said.

Students at Newdegate Primary School, who undertook their own fundraising activities to support the cause, accompanied Ms McLeish for the last few kilometres of her journey.

Upon reaching her final destination last Friday the school held a celebratory afternoon tea in Ms McLeish's honour.

Year 6 student councillors Sorren Humphries and Taimana Lloyd said the students had also raised $750 by holding fundraising lunches.

"We made a banner featuring the RFDS to make Ms McGleish feel good when she arrives," Sorren said.

"We go to the Newdegate Machinery Field Days each year and usually Ms McLeish would raise money there, so since the event was cancelled it was good to do this instead."

Taimana said it was part of the schools values to help one another out.

"It's raising awareness for a worthy cause that helps country people when they need it most," Taimana said.

Ms McLeish said she was looking forward to "soaking her tired and blistered feet in the water in Esperance".

  • You can donate via the RFDS website at flyingdoctor.org.au/ or the 'RFDS Trekking from Narrogin to Newdegate Group' Facebook page.
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