Avolon contributes €1,000 towards Gareth Leslie’s El Camino walk for Make-a-Wish Ireland. The Donegal man and local fisherman, walked over 800km’s in less than a month from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago in Spain, raising over €20,000 for the Make-a-Wish Ireland organisation.
Gareth was inspired to undertake the journey after seeing the film, “The Way” starring Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez. Shortly after embarking on his solo journey, the stakes were risen when his father committed to donating €2.50 to his favourite charity for every kilometre he walked. Gareth chose the Make-A-Wish Ireland charity as one of his lifelong ambitions was to be able to lend a helping hand to the creation of a child’s wish.
Throughout the walk, Gareth paid a visit to the various cathedrals and churches along the route, stopping off to light at least two candles every day – one for the kids and one for the donators. Not realising the extent of support he would receive, Gareth initially thought that his fundraising would be able to account for a portion of a child’s wish however each day the fundraising grew as word spread via his daily Facebook posts where he would post pictures and milestones of what he had accomplished for that day. Within the month, the fundraising had reached over €20,000 for Make-a-Wish, proving that a small community when aligned together really can make wishes come true.
The El Camino walk is a trek that covers over 790km starting in St Jean Pied de Port in France and ending in Santiago in Spain. It generally takes 30 days to complete with the first two days crossing over the Pyrenees. The walk is not for the faint of heart and Gareth’s bravery in continuing on when things got tough is commendable.
Make-A-Wish Ireland grants the wishes of children aged between 3 and 17 years living with life-threatening medical conditions. A wish can have a huge impact on the entire family, creating happy memories to last a lifetime. In 2015, the Make-A-Wish organisation granted 174 wishes to children throughout Ireland. They receive no government funding so rely on the kindness of peoples donations. For more information on the Make-A-Wish Ireland organisation, please visit https://makeawish.ie/