'All the franchisees managed to successfully touch the Mount Everest base camp rock,' said Smith, owner of the Penetanguishene and Midland stores.
Joanne Smith and other franchisee owners of Tim Hortons have been trekking through the harsh weather conditions of Mount Everest's base camps to help send thousands of kids to camp. "All the franchisees managed to successfully touch the Mount Everest base camp rock," said Smith, owner of the Penetanguishene and Midland stores. "We, as a team, the 14 of us, completed the goal." Smith discussed the harrowing experience during their trek and the numerous challenges the team faced as the group members suffered from headaches, nausea, and breathing difficulties due to the high altitude, reported CTV News.
Wasaga Beach, Ont. woman treks to Mount Everest base camp to help send kids to camp https://t.co/aw1N7U0zdh— Alessandra Carneiro (@CTValessandra) May 10, 2023
The team still persisted and remained focused on its goal to collect funds for children. "It's one thing to have a fundraiser; it's another to put your, we'll call it, blood, sweat, and tears into it to really try to prove that you're willing to make a difference," Smith said on Skype in Nepal about the so-far 9-day trek. "It was just special and proves that if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen," she noted. "Who would have ever thought someone from Wasaga Beach or someone from Waterloo or the west coast or east coast could be here doing this? It really allows you a lot of time to contemplate life and count your blessings."
Also, Smith has developed an admiration for the people of Nepal. "There are people walking around in sandals and slides, and that's their basic footwear. It's a tough life in Nepal. [I have] nothing but respect. They work hard." Smith also added, "The simplest things like a toilet seat, for example, and eating your meals in warmth, is something that has honestly made me reflect and think I've always taken that somewhat for granted. To understand that there's a whole culture where that's not their norm, it's something to be appreciated, being Canadian and living where we live."
The team will fly to Kathmandu after reaching their base. From there, they will prepare themselves to get "back to reality" and get back home and then they would be planning the next fundraiser for the Tim Hortons Children's Foundation. "From here, it's downhill, [you] still have to keep your wits about you. The rocks are pretty sharp on the way down, but you just need to mind your footing, but the biggest part is behind us now," Smith said. In another touching story, a man named Gary McKee ran a 26.2-mile (42km) route and helped raise a whopping £1 million (approximately $11,91,000). It will be shared between Macmillan Cancer Support and West Cumbria Hospice at Home. According to BBC, McKee went through more than 20 pairs of trainers and ran more than 9,500 miles (15,300km) over the course of 2022. He finished his final marathon at about 2 p.m. on December 31, 2022. The fitness enthusiast, aka "Marathon Man," thanked the "fantastic" reception and said: "The streets were lined. It was raining, but everybody was out clapping and shouting. It was fantastic seeing everybody there. It's something I'll always remember."
The Cumbria native planned on raising funds for charities close to their heart after he learned that many charities suffered big financial losses due to the pandemic, as all the main fundraising events were canceled. He decided to take matters into his own hands (and legs) to pitch in "to celebrate the fantastic work that they do."