October 23, 2020

99-year-old Walks to Fundraise for ADRA

Ashley Stanton and Maryellen Fairfax, Adventist Record

At 99 years of age, Enid Webster just completed her sixth City2Surf in Sydney, Australia, to raise money for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).

“Regular walking sure pays off!” she said, as she went out walking again the next day, feeling no ill effects.

Enid completed the 14-kilometer (8.7-mile) walk in just under 3 hours and 30 minutes and was joined by 13 family members, who also walked on that day. Some relatives walked with her, and others walked in the Northern Territory and Queensland in Australia, and as far away as Hong Kong.

“She started when she was 93,” says Ruth Webster, Enid’s daughter-in-law. “She’s done it every year since, except for one year she was too unwell to do it.”

“[People] are always very surprised,” she adds. “Particularly those who know she had a valve replacement in her heart early in 2019.”

At the end of last year, Enid was ready to retire her fundraising efforts as the five-hour return trip to Sydney from her retirement village in Cooranbong was becoming too taxing. But when COVID transformed the City2Surf into a virtual event, Enid couldn’t resist doing her annual fundraising event by walking in her neighborhood.

Enid alongside family members who supported her in the 2020 edition [Photo: Adventist Record]

Ruth attributes Enid’s avid walking to CHIP (the Complete Health Improvement Program), which she completed when the program first started in Australia.

“At that point, she wasn’t an avid walker. She was a little bit overweight, but she changed her diet and started walking regularly. At the moment, she is doing 10,000 steps a day, and she keeps track of that,” she says.

Enid lives independently in her retirement village and enjoys knitting and crocheting, gardening, cooking, and keeping her house in order. She keeps fit through a healthy morning routine, and her family often meets her on her 7:00 a.m. walk.

“So she’s up early and out walking,” Ruth says, adding that not even a rainy day deters Enid’s efforts. “She puts a raincoat on and goes! There was one morning I said ‘Did you walk this morning?’ because it was raining. And she said, ‘Yes, and I didn’t see you!’”

The funds that Enid raises will go toward ADRA Appeal, the largest funding source for ADRA programs in Australia. And walking isn’t the only thing that Enid does to help others in need.

“With her knitting and crocheting, she makes blankets and other similar items that she donates to charity,” says Ruth.

In partnership with Seventh-day Adventist local churches, ADRA Australia’s volunteer-run programs feed, clothe, house, connect, and empower people to overcome hardships and crises and get back on their feet.

The original version of this story was posted on the Adventist Record website.