Grandma walks for diabetes

North Toronto tailor decided to organize her own charity event in Port Credit

If a team of fit, male hockey players can walk for charity, then so can Scottish grandmother of five, Penny Bedford.

When Frank Gardiner, a longtime customer at Bedford’s North Toronto tailor shop, told her about his upcoming charity walk Dash For Diabetes, Bedford offered to organize her own walk with her family in Port Credit.

Gardiner himself teamed up with a group of men’s hockey players from Ryerson University.

“I didn’t ask for support,” Gardiner said. “She just did it. That’s the type of person she is.”

Bedford placed a donation box for the walk in her Yonge Street tailor shop, Stychin Tyme, and gathered her family to walk with her in support of Team CDN — Cure Diabetes Now.

Clad in brightly coloured and oversized t-shirts, Bedford walked with her family members along the lakeshore Nov. 8 while her father followed them in a car taking pictures.

While the walk was aimed at raising money for diabetes research, Bedford said it was a great excuse to catch up with family and exercise.

“It was very good family time,” Bedford said. “We walked and talked and had a tremendous time together.”

Although her Port Credit walk had a small turnout of nine, she hopes to organize another walk next year and garner support from local businesses and running clubs.

The Dash has been hosted in communities across Ontario after Gardiner, whose son Peter is diabetic, began organizing the grassroots runs in Goderich. He helped organize a Toronto run with the Ryerson team.

Since the first dash eight years ago, the dash has raised $120,000 toward diabetes research.

Gardiner said all proceeds from the Toronto-area walks are being donated to diabetes research at Sick Kids Hospital in honour of Adele Turcotte, a student who passed away in Ryerson’s residences in December 2007 due to complications from diabetes.

Bedford will be accepting donations at her store, located at 2502 Yonge St., through the end of November.

About this article:

By: Alex Keshen
Posted: Nov 26 2009 2:49 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto