Marilyn Steede is no stranger to going the extra mile for a good cause.
She has been setting out to walk non-stop for 24 hours to raise money for local organisations for the past 15 years.
This year, she walked to help child sex abuse prevention charity Saving Children and Revealing Secrets.
She picked Scars because “when they first formed, I honestly didn’t think that their mandate affected me in any way”.
She said she did not know anyone affected by child sexual abuse, but then she attended two of the charity’s presentations through her work.
Ms Steede, from Devonshire, said: “From the very first one, I was amazed at how much I learnt.”
She said the presentation opened her eyes and that “you can see things when you know something”.
Ms Steede added: “My heart went out to these people. I didn’t know they were going through things like that.”
Ms Steede, a former Royal Bermuda Regiment Sergeant Major, set off from the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity at 7am on Saturday morning.
She has raised more than $1,000 so far, but expects the total to rise as more donations come in.
She said: “It’s basically walking for 24 hours. It’s about having my feet on the ground the entire 24 hours.
“It was a beautiful day. We had some rain showers, but they were very short and not very heavy.”
She keeps bathroom breaks to a minimum — stopping only twice — and packs sandwiches and snacks to eat on the go.
Her route took her along East Broadway, on to South Road and all the way to St George’s.
She then made her way to Admiralty House along North Shore before heading back to Hamilton via Pitts Bay Road.
From Front Street she continued to Trimingham Hill and on to Dockyard via South Road.
She said: “And then I start it all over again.”
Ms Steede finished at Trimingham Hill at 7am on Sunday — a friend bought her a stay at Coco Reef, so she turned around at Spittal Pond.
Ms Steede explained that she was shadowed throughout the walk, with someone walking with her or driving nearby.
Jon Brunson, Scars chairman, started the walk with her this year and Debi Ray-Rivers, Scars founder and executive director, accompanied her for three hours.
Ms Steede welcomed the company and having someone to talk to.
She said: “It takes my mind off how much time I have left.
“Just because I have done it all these years, doesn’t mean I assume I can do it. I still need the motivation.”
Ms Ray-Rivers said: “We are incredibly grateful to Marilyn for her commitment, strength and willingness to walk for 24 hours in support of our life-saving work in sexual abuse prevention for Bermuda’s children.”
“Every dollar makes a difference to us. We appreciate and celebrate Marilyn Steede.”
By Lisa Simpson The Royal Gazette