published in Walk My Way on April 17, 2019

Sunny Coast SHINES in Walk My Way!

ALWS Community Action Manager Jonathan Krause reflects on some amazing days of Walk My Way.

A generic square placeholder image with rounded corners in a figure.

How many sausages does it take to keep 274 hungry Queenslanders happy…

… especially when they are about to step out on the first ever ALWS Queensland Walk My Way

… along 26 kilometres of bitumen, beaches and boardwalks on the beautiful Sunshine Coast?

How many sausages?

Working with a couple of wonderful local volunteers, Dave and Nick, and ALWS Queensland rep Christian (who you see being silly in photo), I reckon we sizzled 500+ snags. (Every single one of them donated!)

A large number of those sausages were snagged by the Fantastic Fives from St James Lutheran School in Hervey Bay.

And they deserved as many as they could eat…

…because these Grade 5s, along with some Years 10 and 11, plus some extraordinarily committed teachers, as a group of 41 raised more than $5,000 to help refugee children in East Africa go to school!

No wonder the Fantastic Fives were jumping for joy!

 

The feeling you see in the photo of the Fantastic Fives was one shared by all our Walkers …

 

… though perhaps there was more energy at the start at Good Shepherd Lutheran College in Noosaville, and at the finish line at Luther Heights in Coolum, than there was in the middle!

 

What’s amazing is the 274 Queensland Walkers (and Sausage Scoffers) have helped 2,610 children go to school – that’s nearly 10 children per Walker. Wow!

Across Australia in 2019 – with Walk My Way in Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Sunshine Coast, and other smaller Walks – we celebrate:

730 Walkers
helping 9,468 children
go to school!

Thank you to everyone who walked…

…and everyone who supported them with donations…

…and the volunteers who helped cook and marshal and set-up and pack-up…

…and leaders like Bishop Paul Smith who walked the walk along with 10 other Queensland Pastors (including two who ran the 26 kilometres in less than 2.5 hours!)

 

… and especially, Kirra Lewis from ALWS, who co-ordinates Walk My Way.

 

Stay tuned for news of more Walk My Ways over the next 12 months – Gold Coast, Melbourne, Albury (Bonegilla Camp where ALWS started), hopefully Toowoomba, perhaps the Barossa Valley in South Australia. We’re working on a Walk My Way for everyone!

 

Walk My Way, Adelaide: Saturday 13 April 2019

The photo below is not me at the end of the 26 kilometres of ALWS Walk My Way!

It is how my heart felt …

… knowing that 381 people in SA, 12 in NT and another 40+ in 10 days’ time (+ one in Melbourne – go, Steven!) cared so much for others they’d take 34,000 steps to raise money to help refugee children go to school.

The star jumper in the photo is Eli Lewis (son of Walk My Way co-ordinator, Kirra).

Eli ran the 26 kilometres in 2 hours and 24 minutes … and still had energy to jump!

NB: If you want to see a photo of me at the finish of my 26 kilometres, go to the end of this story.

What a wonderful event is Walk My Way!

Together we have already raised enough to support 4,671 refugee children go to school … and we’re still counting! (Every $26 can support one child – donate here if you like.)

The SA day started with a FREE German Farmhouse breakfast.

Cold meats, cheeses from Udder Delights, quince paste from Maggie Beer, yoghurt from Paris Creek, fresh bread from Lobethal Bakery … delicious!

Then we had our Opening – our nearly 400 Walkers, plus 100 supporters from the ALWS family, plus all our Adelaide Hills volunteers … it was standing room only … except for our special guests, Rebekah Sharkie, the Federal Member for Mayo (who needed more than one tissue to dab her eyes), the Honourable John Gardener, SA Minister for Education, and Mt Barker Mayor Anne Ferguson.

You can see why everyone was moved by the Opening here.

If you don’t have 40 minutes to watch the entire Opening (I guarantee it’s worth it), you can just watch this 3 minute video of the Lutheran Community Sewing Group who made Thank You bags for all our Walkers.

(Make sure you have tissues handy!)

Did you watch it?

If you didn’t, stop right now, and take 3 minutes to be excited, encouraged and inspired!

Then we stepped out! (Or ran, as Eli and a number of others did!) Our youngest ‘walker’ was one year old, and the most senior was 83 (the age I felt at the end of my Walk).

What was exciting for me – a lifelong born’n’bred Lutheran – was to see the number of Lutheran Pastors (including two Bishops) who walked …

Stirling was our halfway mark – where Walkers were greeted by a Sausage Sizzle cooked by volunteers from Teen Challenge, with sausages donated by Max Noske Meats and Stirling Variety Meats, and bread from Bakers Delight.

We also had the Black Thunder from radio station HIT107 handing out ridiculously healthy things like Protein balls and yoghurt. (I successfully avoided those.)

With chocolate Easter Eggs at Eagle-on-the-Hill …

… a series of six Meditation cards along the walk

… and a ‘Made It Meal’ at the bottom of the Walk

… meaning we had heart, soul and tummy all well-catered for! (Perhaps not so well catered-for blistered feet and aching legs.)

While in Adelaide we had a perfect autumn day at 22 degrees, our friends in Darwin confronted 33 degrees – though perhaps that is cool for them – as they walked between the two campuses of the Lutheran College.

In Melbourne, Steven Loffler decided to do his own thing, and walked 26km along the Yarra from St John’s Southgate to St Paul’s Box Hill.

Friends joined him for encouragement and support – and a relaxed lunch halfway!

Two weeks later, more than 45 Walkers in WA set off on their own Walk My Way. 

Starting at Living Waters Lutheran College and walking to Mandurah Surf Life Saving Club at San Remo, the track included amazing countryside, beautiful beaches…

…and perfect spots for selfies!

The LWF team you support at Kakuma Refugee Camp sent a video message of encouragement and thanks to Walkers and their Supporters and all the Volunteers… and I want to echo their thanks to you too!

A special thanks to Kirra Lewis, our Walk My Way Coordinator, and the ALWS team. And to a generous couple who ‘matched’ Walk My Way donations, up to the value of $10,000!

34,000 – that’s a lot of steps to count … but I know a lot of us used those steps to also count our blessings as we thought about the refugee children we stepped out to help!

And how did I feel at the end of the Walk?