KEEN walkers had an extra bounce in their step on Saturday when they passed through Warrnambool for the Make A Wish Foundation walk from Melbourne to Portland.
The event had support from Collingwood footballers, the aerobatic Roulettes and an air force Hercules.
Long-time walker Graham Sealey said Portland Make A Wish Foundation committee president Gail Jaensch had done an outstanding job in involving the community in the seventh annual walk.
“Drivers have been really good, everyone is very aware of the walk and giving us a wide berth,” Mr Sealey said.
“It’s a great initiative and the support has been brilliant, especially from this side of Colac.
‘‘The Portland branch covers right up to Winchelsea with all the money raised staying in the area to support kids when the need arises.”
Mr Sealey said the walk started at Melbourne’s Westpac Centre with the support of the Collingwood football team and all the players last Monday.
The walkers are expected to reach Portland this afternoon.
“Gail has a real knack of getting people to lend a hand and provide support,” Mr Sealey said from near Port Fairy yesterday morning.
“There have been about 15 people involved in the walk.
‘‘People come and go although myself and Steve Brown are walking the whole way.
‘‘All up we raised about $30,000 last year, but I have no idea what the total will be this year.”
Mr Sealey is in his fifth walk and said the crew covered about 50 kilometres a day.
“It all started with a little boy wishing he could have one big red money — a $20 note — and that led to Gail coming up with the idea for a walk,” Mr Sealey said.
‘‘It’s all grown from there.
“Getting people to walk from Melbourne to Portland is no easy task but Gail has a way of encouraging people to support the walk.”