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A hike down memory lane

A 500-strong group of hikers with a heart for the elderly hit the roads for a meaningful cause.

 

Singapore would not be what it is today if not for the contributions of our pioneers throughout the past 50 years. To honour and thank them, the 50cube Hike was organised as more than 500 people signed up to do their part and give back to the elderly. The aim is to raise funds through the event for two selected beneficiaries, Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home (LAMH) and the Caregiver’s Training Programme at Alzheimer’s Disease Association (Singapore), with participants covering a distance of 50km across the island. “We believe in aiming for monetary contributions for our beneficiaries, but I think what we, along with our volunteers and hikers, have come away with is an increased sense of gratitude for our pioneers and an awareness of the type of community we want to create,” says Elissa Oh, founder of DooGoodSG and organiser of the hike.

On 19 November, the hikers rallied at Toa Payoh Town Park, the starting point of the hike, with participants as young as 18-years-old and the oldest at 69. “It was a bustle of energy,” says hiker Kimberly Meagan. “There were so many people ready to go!” In celebration of the stories of our older generation that helped build our homeland, the 50cube hike route passes 10 check points and heritage markers that illuminated our past, like the Old Great World Amusement Park and Reflections @ Bukit Chandu War Memorial.

Through the event, hikers not only realised their inner resilience but also developed a more profound propensity for love. “It really made me appreciate my dad more,” says Kimberly. “Just a little kindness truly paves the way for a lot of people. Our pioneers hold the secrets to our happiness now, and I’m not afraid to love and care for a stranger. They’ve paved the way so I can live carefreely; they’ve become my family.” For her, this is her second year participating in the 50cube Hike, and her passion for the cause stems from her own difficult experience. “My dad has had a rough six to seven years. He suffered from a bad stroke that left him paralysed, before having a divorce. It hit home because if it weren’t for me, my dad might still be struggling and homeless,” shares Kimberly.

The inherent goodness and altruism of people was also evident despite having to brave the morning thunderstorm and scorching sun over a course of 10 to 14 hours. “We believe that everyone wants to do good in the way they know how,” says Elissa. “It is about meeting people and seeing that when given the opportunity in an accessible way, people will step forward to do good.”

Having achieved their milestone of 500 hikers this year, Elissa and her team of volunteers are already looking forward to next year’s instalment, which promises to be bigger and better. “We intend to reach out to more potential hikers as we will be opening up different categories next year,” she adds. “Join us in 2017 and Hike for Good!”

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