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Inaugural walkathon raises over $6000

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Fundraiser walkathon enjoys enthusiastic participation, says YOGI SAVANIA

Tyagvallabh Swami and Philip Ruddock in the lead

On the sunny Saturday morning of March 31, BAPS, a community-based charity organisation, hosted its inaugural walkathon in support of medical research.

Families, children and seniors all turned out for the 3-kilometre walk through Parramatta Park and its surroundings, in Sydney’s west.  Walkers were flagged off by Tyagvallabh Swami, senior sadhu of BAPS, and chief guest for the event the Hon. Phillip Ruddock MP, Federal MP for Berowra, former Howard-government minister and Shadow Cabinet Secretary.

Mr Ruddock, representing the Federal Opposition Leader Mr Tony Abbott, read a special message from Mr Abbott congratulating BAPS on its contribution to the local community.  “I want to acknowledge that you are doing something very special,” said Mr Ruddock, sharing those sentiments.

Funds for the walkathon, which was inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, were raised by walkers themselves, including young children who sought donations from family and friends to sponsor them for each kilometre walked.

The beneficiary of the funds was Westmead Medical Research Foundation (WMRF), which undertakes life-saving medical research, and relies on community donations to continue their outstanding work.  At the end of the walkathon on behalf of the participants, Mr Ruddock presented a cheque of $5,251 to Ms Chris Bauer, Community Fundraising Coordinator of WMRF. However, online donations continued past this point and as of April 4, around $6,600 had been raised from the event. “Even if today’s event didn’t even raise a penny, the fact that you want to do it and have engaged with it, makes it worthwhile,” said Mr Ruddock, as he commended BAPS and the walkers.

Close to 400 walkers participated in the walkathon, and participants enjoyed light refreshment after the event.

BAPS is a not-for-profit community-based charity organisation committed to sincerely serving the world by caring for individuals, families and communities.  Community walkathons such as this are one of many social, medical and cultural activities hosted and supported by BAPS globally and locally.  For more information visit www.baps.org.

Westmead Medical Research Foundation supports life-saving medical research, and the care of sick adults and children at Westmead Hospital in Sydney’s west.  They do this by raising funds that enable its researchers to continually push the boundaries of medical innovation, while also broadening the scope and reach its treatments.  For more information visit www.wmrf.org.au.


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