4 Mainers Are About To Walk from Maine to Fenway…Just Like Their Fathers Did 48 Years Ago
In 1973, Norm Payette, Wilbur Wildes, Ge Erskine, and Dave McHugh walked from South Portland to Fenway Park to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. Now, 48 years later, the children of these men will be replicating that walk to pay homage to their Dads. Denise Payette-Holmes, Peter Wildes, Link Erskine, and Joe McHugh will be leaving from the exact same location as their fathers did; Wilkinson Park on New York Avenue in South Portland. The brave four will start their trip on Tuesday, July 6, at Noon. The goal is to reach Fenway Park on Sunday, July 11, before the start of the game between the first-place Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. The fundraising walk to Fenway is called "Fenway For our Fathers," with 100% of the money raised going to the incredible Jimmy Fund, an organization that is near and dear to Mainers and the Red Sox. The Jimmy Fund supports Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care.
Why replicate this walk? From the Fenway For Our Fathers fundraising website:
Wilbur, Ge, and Norm have passed, Dave is still with us. Our father’s walk has been part of the legacy of each of our families, gaining stature through the years. We felt it was time to pay homage to them by the four of us retracing our father’s steps and recreate that walk, hopefully leaving behind a further legacy for our children and our children’s children.
Here's a photo of the "Original Four" that made the trek from South Portland to Fenway in 1973. Legends all!
How will the four folks actually walk to Fenway? You can't just walk down the Maine Turnpike! The four members have made plans with each municipality they are going through on their journey, and local police departments will guide and protect them through town.
According to Google Maps, the distance is 109 miles with a total walking time of around 36 hours. Of course, the quartet will not be doing this all at once, but more likely over four days. So, to this intrepid crew from Maine, we say, Good Luck, stay safe, and see you at the ballpark!
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