What would prompt someone to walk 60 miles in a single day to raise funds for Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center? Belding resident Bill Bates, 68, told the Ionia Sentinel he would feel the presence of his late wife, Dianne: “My wife will be walking with me every step of the way, and believe me, I’ll be thinking about her the whole time I’m walking.” Starting on Friday, September 18, 2015, Bates plans to walk 60 miles in memory of his late wife Dianne Bates.
Bates’ wife Dianne passed away in 2014, after her battle with cancer. This is not Bates’ first “Pilgrimage.” In 2010, he completed a 52-mile journey, raising $5,800 for Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center, at that time, in honor of his wife’s journey with cancer.
Donations collected by Bates during this third-party Pilgrimage fundraising will be directed to the Saint Mary’s Foundation to benefit the Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center. “We are deeply touched and impressed by Mr. Bates’ dedication and fortitude to take on such a challenging distance to raise funds for Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center,” said Kenda Klotz, clinical service director of Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center. “The fact that he is undertaking ‘The Pilgrimage’ in honor of his late wife who passed away from cancer serves as a special tribute and honor to our patients.”
Bates’ 60-mile walk will end in Belding, Michigan on Saturday, September 19, 2015 between noon-2 p.m. at the park across from the VFW Hall of Belding. Colleagues and the community are invited to join in cheering along Bill crossing the finish line during that time, with his granddaughter and son-in-law.
The Pilgrimage is a third party event, which is an independently planned activity.
More information on this event and how to give can be found at www.SaintMarysEvents.com.