Just by putting one foot in front of the other, Marilyn Steede raised $200,000 for local charities.
She did it over 16 years, starting in 2003. For one day each year, she would walk from one end of the island to the other, putting in many miles.
Although she would not say why, she has decided to call it quits this year. Despite that, she has not quite given up on fundraising.
“I am casually formulating a plan for a group event,” she said.
“This will require the assistance of many, many bodies and much expense.”
Family Centre, Meals on Wheels, Age Concern and the Bermuda Stroke and Family Support Association are a few of the charities that benefited from the donations she received from supporters over the years.
“Together, we collectively supported Bermuda’s registered charities with additional finances to assist with their mandate to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Bermuda,” she said.
The certified fitness instructor had walked the Bermuda End-to-End walk 13 times before she did her first fundraiser 17 years ago because she was concerned about stroke victims.
“It just seems that here lately, every time I look somebody I know has had a stroke,” she said back in 2003 when she gave the $30,000 she raised to help build a rehabilitation unit for stroke survivors at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
Over the years, she has had several people walk with her. David Selley was 14 when he joined her in 2004.
“He accompanied me on his pedal bike without getting off for the entire 24 hours,” she said.
“He did not even take a toilet break. When I had a toilet break, he continued pedalling in circles until I returned. We shared refreshments without stopping. David, you will for ever be my hero of this event.”
Sandra Scott walked with her for ten hours in 2005.
“She started with me at the entrance to Horseshoe Bay Beach,” Ms Steede said.
“Unfortunately, she tripped on a pothole and continued until it was unbearable for her. She surrendered at the bottom of Trimingham Hill on our way back to Dockyard.”
In 2008, Samuel Hewitt, who is now a lieutenant in the Royal Bermuda Regiment, walked for ten miles.
“He unexpectedly joined me in my third hour,” she said.
“He was travelling with his father in the car following me and he felt that I needed some companionship, so he joined me near Spittal Pond.
“He was wearing jeans, so unfortunately he became chaffed and had to surrender at the bottom of Barnes Corner on our way back to Dockyard.”
In 2005, she did the walk twice: in March for Age Concern and in November for Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana.