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104-year-old Victoria man completes final laps of 104-lap walk for charity

With more than 100 supporters cheering him on, veteran John Hillman walked the final 14 laps of 104 laps around the courtyard of his Oak Bay retirement home in his effort to raise money for the charity Save the Children.

The 104-year-old Second World War veteran started his epic fundraising journey on May 1. His goal over the 10 days was to raise $104,000 as he walked 104 circuits of the Carlton House courtyard.

Now that Hillman has completed his trek to help children, he says he is overwhelmed by the support he has received from the community.

So far, his 2023 campaign has raised more than $75,000.

“I didn’t expect quite so many [supporters] but I’m very pleased to have them,” said Hillman. “I’m proud of myself and I’ve done what I intended to do."

This is the fourth year Hillman has embarked on his drive to raise money for children in need. Since he completed his first walk of 100 laps in 2019, he has raised almost $400,000 for Save the Children.

Hillman was joined on his final 14 laps by the head of the Canadian children’s charity.

Staff with the agency say they are increasingly responding to more crises globally and due to the pandemic, much of the progress the charity has made during the past three decades has taken a step back due to ongoing challenges.

“John’s support and the support from this community has been huge and we’ve been able to scale up our work in many parts of the world,” said Save the Children president and CEO Danny Glenwright. “John’s really committed to children in crisis and to making sure children have an education and that’s the work that Save the Children does.”

Hillman says he still has a little way to go to reach his $104,000 goal, but he is confident it will be met in the next few days.

As for his plans to walk 105 laps to raise $105,000, for the children’s charity, Hillman says he will have to think about it.

“I’ll see what 105 brings me and I’ll make up my mind later on,” said Hillman.

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