Almost there: 94-year-old Sask. senior close to completing walk from Saskatoon to Regina
LUMSDEN -- A Saskatchewan senior walking from Saskatoon to Regina is closing on his final destination with a stop in Lumsden.
Frank Atchison, 94, started his “Where’s Frank Walk for Children” journey on April 15 and has walked about five kilometres each day.
Atchison, who has been a Shriner for nearly 50 years, is making the trek to raise awareness and money for the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children in Montreal.
On Tuesday, Atchison made it to Lions Park in Lumsden where he was greeted by students from École Lumsden Elementary School and community members.
Students from École Lumsden Elementary School greet Frank Atchison in Lumsden (Mackenzie Read/CTV Regina)
He said every stop has given him a warm welcome.
“Especially the school kids, to watch how their little minds are so intimate. You see them make signs that you would not have dreamt up what they come up with. It’s so nice,” Atchison said.
The students also presented Atchison with a cheque for $2,309, which they fundraised for the cause.
Atchison said his journey has been good, but also hard.
“The tougher the job, the better the feeling when you’re finished.”
One Lumsden family is grateful for all the work Atchison is doing.
Kim Lewis used the support of the Shiners to help get treatment for her son Matthew, who was born with a mild case of spina bifida.
“I know now that the Shriners is a resource and if anything is wrong, I just call Montreal and the Shriner in Saskatoon. They set everything up and we basically just show up,” Lewis said.
She added that she doesn’t think a lot of people in Saskatchewan know about the Shiners and she thinks it’s great that Atchison is doing this walk to bring awareness to their generosity.
“That’s what Shriners is all about,” said Atchison. “Every step we take, we take for a sick kid.”
Atchison will hit the road to Regina again on Thursday, but the Lumsden hill is one hurdle he is not looking forward to.
“The tough part is coming. I wish they had an escalator on that hill going up to Regina,” he said.
Atchison is scheduled to arrive at the WA WA Shriners Temple in Regina on June 15. A parade is planned to celebrate the end of the walk, Atchison’s 95th birthday and his 50-year anniversary as a Shriner.