Chilliwack walker setting out on annual Fraser Valley walk

Dave Grandy walking loop from Chilliwack to Mission and back in support of Ruth and Naomi's Mission's Christmas program

Dave Grandy will embark on a 175-km walk around the Fraser Valley Nov. 18

Dave Grandy will embark on a 175-km walk around the Fraser Valley Nov. 18

Dave Grandy is busy breaking in new, winterized gumboots this week.

They’ll easily handle the rain, mud and snow he’ll encounter over the next few months. But more importantly, they’ll carry him well on a 175-km walk he embarks on this Friday.

He’ll leave from downtown Chilliwack early in the morning, and walk a loop out to Rosedale and Agassiz, Mission and Abbotsford, and back to Chilliwack again.

This will be his fifth such walk, all in an attempt to give back to Ruth and Naomi’s Mission. In his first four years, he raised a total of $27,200. That’s gone directly to fund the two Christmas Day dinners RAN puts out, along with the many gifts and hampers their guests receive on Christmas Day.

This year Grandy has already raised $5,500 — and he hasn’t even set out yet. But when he does, he’ll be sporting reflective wear and rain gear. And he’ll have a support RV, provided each year by Fraserway RV. Their lot in Abbotsford is one of his stopover spots for a place to sleep.

“I stand out, that’s the idea,” he says. “And the RV is behind me or goes ahead and waits for me, with the flashers on.”

His first year was a wet one, he recalls, but he’s always prepared for the worst. And nothing would stop him from this campaign. But he does find balance out on the road. Some days he’ll walk up to 40 km, other days he’ll top out at about 15 km.

There’s some flexibility there, he says, but he knows that the last few days he will have circled back to Chilliwack and will be staying in the RV in the Walmart parking lot. While he’s there, he’ll be in meet and greet mode and ready to talk about his walk, his story, and how Ruth and Naomi’s helped him on his way.

“I’ll tell them what it’s all about and give them a brochure with the website where they can donate through the computer,” he says.

Grandy was one of the first 10 residents to stay long term at Ruth and Naomi’s, five years ago. He credits the mission with helping him, but says his mindset also has been to always improve himself.

“I just kept trying to move forward,” he says. “I’ve been up and down the ladder but I’ve now figured out a simple to do it. I’ve learned how to survive on very little, and I’m no longer homeless.”

He’s very aware of how quickly someone can go from being well off to standing in a soup kitchen.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” he says. “It could go sideways this afternoon.”

Bill Raddatz, executive director of Ruth and Naomi’s says Grandy is truly a class act. Five years ago, he found his way to the mission for the odd meal and warm bed. He had been homeless for seven years at that point, and had lived through homeless times in his life prior to that.

But it was the mission here in Chilliwack that has helped him back on his feet, and because of that he walks every winter to pay thanks.

Not many people turn around and help out the Mission after they’ve turned their lives around, and the fact Grandy keeps this annual journey up is “phenomenal in itself,” Raddatz says. “He’s very unique.”

He chooses to walk the loop around this end of the Fraser Valley to highlight the issue of homelessness here, Grandy says.

To donate to the walk or learn more about Ruth and Naomi’s visit them at ranmission.ca.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health issued an overdose alert on Jan. 21, 2021 after an increase in overdoses over the past week in Chilliwack associated with a “greeny-blue/turquoise down substance.” (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fraser Health issues drug overdose alert in Chilliwack

Alert comes after increase in overdoses associated with ‘greeny-blue/turquoise down substance’

ds
Mission potbellied-pig sanctuary mourns death of beloved old hog named Roscoe

14-year-old, 800-pound pig was ‘quite a character,’ said owner Janice Gillett

Chilliwack Chiefs forward Sasha Teleguine, seen here with Thayer Academy, is on the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau updated watch list. (Twitter photo)
Chilliwack Chief Sasha Teleguine holds spot on Central Scouting Bureau’s watch list

Teleguine and Prince George forward Finlay Williams are viewed as potential late round NHL picks

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA holds a webinar on Jan. 26 titled Staying Safe Online.
‘Staying Safe Online’ is subject of Fraser Valley webinar

Session on Tuesday, Jan. 26 is hosted by non-profit Circles of Support and Accountability

Sheets of plastic are seen near pools of water around a landscaped area of the Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery in Chilliwack on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Complaints come in about the look of Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery site

‘We are committed to being a business and employer everyone in Chilliwack can be proud of’ says GM

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Most Read