Ontario man walking for Fort Mac victims

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June 14, 2016 7:58 AM

Top: Nathan Walmsley, David Barkman and Stanley Barkman hold a banner, inset: Stanley Barkman records his trek across the Saskatchewan/Alberta border on his way to Fort McMurray from Sioux Lookout, ON last week. Barkman is walking to raise funds for victims of the fire that wrecked much of the Fort McMurray.

Stanley Barkman is familiar with walking for causes.
He’s also had friends lose property to disaster, so when he heard about the fire devastating the town of Fort McMurray, he did what he does best, hopping onto the shoelace express to raise some cash.
“I was just sad and heart broken, it’s tough to see people losing their homes,” the Sachigo Lake, Ont. man said.
“I’ve had friends who’ve lost their homes, but this is a whole part of a city that’s been burnt down, so I just want to help out anyway I could.”
Barkman made a pit stop in the Border City on a windy Thursday morning as part of his journey from Sioux Lookout, Ont. to Fort McMurray, which he began May 9.
The walk is estimated to take six weeks with a total of 2080 km from start to finish.
Barkman has a funding goal of $20,000 to donate to Fort McMurray residents, mostly ones who don’t have the insurance to replace lost property.
“Hopefully it helps them first,” he said, his tone solemn and modest.
“Helps the people who lost everything; I’m just trying to do what I can I guess.”
According to the gofundme.com page set up for the walk, a small portion of the money will go to expenses for the trip like food, drinks and gas for the support vehicle following Barkman and his entourage.
To cut down on costs, Barkman and company plan to camp as much as possible, but many good hearted people who’ve been hearing about it along the way have been opening their homes and businesses to them as a way to contribute.
Lloydminster businesses that helped out the crew as they strolled through included the Days Hotel, Sawmill Restaurant, Factory Sports gave some socks, Focuses Screen Printing provided shirts and Sportchek kicked in some shoes by raising money in-store.
“I just want to thank everyone for all the support,” Barkman said.
“But this whole walk is just for you guys, for everyone in fort McMurray that lost everything.”
Barkman said he’s done five or six walks for various causes over the years, the first one as support for his cousin Riley who was raising money for a CT scanner for the Sioux Lookout hospital.
Now Riley has joined the march to Fort McMurray to repay the support.
The walkers still have about 560 km left on their trek and as of Thursday the gofundme page has raised $5,590.

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