By Bejay Browne
FOUR fundraisers and a support driver are hoping to complete a round trip of Cyprus in 20 days and raise thousands for charity.
The group is raising cash for two local charities, the Cyprus Alzheimer’s association and the Anti Cancer Society. They set off on their 525km trek from Paralimni, where they all live, on February 26, and are completing an average of about 25km a day.
Led by professional singer Simon Barter, 53, the determined hoofers, who are all qualified first aiders, aim to raise €10,000 for their chosen charities.
The walkers were in Paphos on Thursday and planning to stay in Peyia, and from there go to Latsi “and have a day off on Saturday.”
He said that on Sunday they would walk from Polis to Pommos and from there onto Kato Pyrgos and across to the north to continue the trek.
Barter is accompanied by wife Lynn, 52, an English teacher and sometimes singer, Ade Berry, 51, a professional photographer and Tony Shaw, 46, a property manager.
Retiree Arthur Carney, 72, is driving the support vehicle.
Barter said: “We have just broken the 200km mark of our 525km goal and managed to notch up a total of 214 km up to today.” The men are members of the Cyprus Freemasons Lakeside Lodge in Paralimni.
The group has collection tins and sponsorship forms with them and every day they upload videos on their dedicated Facebook page. They hope to raise €10,000 and have raised €3,000 so far.
However, Barter said it was almost impossible to stop and drum up support, as they have to keep their heads down and walk.
“We would love it if people would approach us to put cash in our tins, as that is the purpose of what we are trying to do,” he said.
Barter is no stranger to fundraising. Last year, he says they raised €10,000 from sales of a calendar in support of anti-cancer association PASYKAF and previous to that he cycled around Cyprus for kidney patients, raising around €6,000.
Barter says the group has so far been lucky with the weather, without a single drop of rain falling in their path.
“We are walking for about an average of six hours a day and are clearly visible as we are all wearing ‘round the island charity walk’ t-shirts and our support vehicle, a green and silver pick-up has two signs in the back window.”
All four completed about seven months of training prior to setting off.
The four are all also avid motorcyclists and have toured the island this way, but say it’s a very different experience to walk. “You get an entirely different perspective and see so much more on foot.”
The Paralimni resident say they have called in a number of favours to secure overnight accommodation and any places where this isn’t possible they are personally footing the bills.
The fundraisers are due to arrive back at Paralimni town hall at 1pm on Wednesday March 19h and say it would be great if people came out to support them.
For further information- Round the island charity walk on Facebook