South-west Make-A-Wish group at halfway mark in 360km ultra-marathon fund-raiser

SORE feet and scuffed shoes are a small price to pay for granting the wishes of unwell children, according to a group of south-west volunteers.

The region’s Make-A-Wish group is halfway to completing an ultra-marathon stroll between Melbourne and Portland, covering 360 kilometres of bitumen in the process.

Portland Make-A-Wish branch president and organiser Gail Jaensch said the group left Collingwood on Friday morning and arrived at Colac for lunch yesterday afternoon.

The annual pilgrimage is called the “One Big Red Money” walk, named after a child requested a $20 red banknote as his wish from the foundation.

“Yes, our feet are a bit sore but the response from people has been amazing,” Mrs Jaensch said.

“The lovely thing is people driving past or walking along come up to us and donate whatever money they have for the cause. The response we get in the country is especially strong.”

The 360-kilometre stretch covered by the Make-A-Wish team is the same distance as between London and Liverpool in Great Britain or New York City and Washington DC in the United States. Not that it fazes Mrs Jaensch.

“We hope to be in Warrnambool by Wednesday afternoon, depending on the weather and other factors,” she said. “We’re granting a wish of a very special 15-year-old girl in Warrnambool this year, so it will be wonderful to meet with her along the way.”

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