A 104-year-old British Columbia man and Second World War veteran is not slowing down.
For the fourth year in a row, John Hillman of Oak Bay has vowed to raise thousands for charity by doing laps around his retirement community. The goal this year? 104 laps, and $104,000.
For the next week, Hillman will be strolling around the courtyard of the Carlton House, where he resides, in an effort to raise money for Save the Children’s emergency fund.
We are excited about the launch of John Hillman’s walking fundraiser. John just turned 104 and will walk 104 laps between May 1 and 12, to raise funds for children in crisis. To cheer him on and donate, visit our website: https://t.co/OYq9SKO4Kn pic.twitter.com/3hOcUx2Wv7
— Save the Children Canada (@SaveChildrenCan) April 25, 2023
The veteran started on May 1 and will continue until next week, with the goal of doing 104 laps in total.
Hillman first laced up his walking shoes for this type fundraiser in 2020 for his 101st birthday. With each passing year, he increases the number of laps around the courtyard to reflect his age.
“I’m doing so many laps a day and that should complete me for 104 laps,” he told Global News.
Hillman was inspired to raise money in this unique way after Capt. Tom Moore in England took on a similar challenge early in the pandemic.
Moore, who was also a Second World War veteran, made international headlines in April 2020, by far surpassing his intended fundraising goal for doing 100 laps in his backyard.
I still want more for those kids because there’s millions of children who need our help.
He had initially planned to raise £1,000 for Britain’s National Health Service but after his story went viral, Moore’s cause raised nearly £33 million ($40 million) from donors around the world. Moore died a year later at the age of 100, after testing positive for COVID-19.
Hillman chose this year’s charity after being moved by stories of children suffering and displaced as a result of war and the pandemic. His goal is to raise $104,000 but he's hoping it goes higher.
He credits the generosity of Canadians for helping motivate him to do a good cause.
“The public here in Canada are fantastic,” Hillman told Global News. “They have come up with money at every turn I’ve asked for. And really, I’m being greedy by asking for more. But I still want more for those kids because there’s millions of children who need our help. I’ve had my life and I’m looking forward to helping some little kids along the way.”