Great Walks for Great Kids - Jason Palmer's Big Challenge
A local teacher is running a fundraiser to support a cause close to his heart. South Otago High School teacher and Balclutha local Jason Palmer plans to walk four walking tracks next month to raise money for Camp Quality — a volunteer organisation dedicated to running inspirational camps for children living with cancer.
The cause is close to Mr Palmer’s and partner Megan Balchin’s hearts, with their daughter, Esme Palmer, 7, attending the camp this year while in remission from Burkitt’s Lymphoma.
‘‘She went to the camp this year in January and came home empowered with an obvious growth in her confidence and self-belief,’’ he said.
He was inspired by the camp’s fundraising initiative ‘‘Big Challenges for Little Kids’’ and created his own to support it and participate, calling his ‘‘Great Walks for Great Kids.’’
‘‘The camp doesn’t receive any government funding as it relies on donors and supporters, so it was just a no-brainer, as they’ve helped our daughter and so many more kids.’’
Mr Palmer will be walking the Rakiura Track on Stewart Island on day one, the Kepler Track in Te Anau on day two, the Routeburn Track on day three and the Greenstone Track on day four.
The total distance he will be walking is 174km — one kilometre for every day Esme spent away from home while undergoing treatment for her cancer.
‘‘It’s an honour to me to be giving back to those who provide incredible opportunities for kids who have been through such impacting events,’’ Mr Palmer said.
He has set up a Givealittle page in hopes of raising $5400 — the amount of money it costs for the organisation to invite two children to the annual camp.
‘‘Although every dollar raised and donated is a bonus, it’s also about raising awareness and showing love to the people who go above and beyond and support children and families living with childhood cancer.’’
Mr Palmer’s Givealittle page is ‘‘Great Walks for Great Kids’’ and he is also posting his journey on Instagram.
Clutha Leader article by Evelyn Thorn
10 August 2023