The walkathon takes participants from Willows Park and down Beach Drive past Queen’s Park to Oak Bay Marina. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

The walkathon takes participants from Willows Park and down Beach Drive past Queen’s Park to Oak Bay Marina. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Oak Bay teen to walk shoreline for 6 hours to promote mental health

Teen and her mom set to walk Beach Drive to raise funds, spur conversations

An Oak Bay teen hopes to spur conversations and return the favour of sending a peer to camp by walking up and down Beach Drive this weekend.

Taylor Macdonald, a busy Grade 11 student at St. Michaels University School, is known to be a bit of a deep thinker and wants to raise awareness about mental health. She will also raise funds to help send another teen to Girl in the Wild.

Taylor, 17, attended the free confidence-building camp in the wilderness two summers ago. She loved the camp and finds herself in a stronger place because of it.

This camp teaches young women and non-binary individuals to support, embrace and love themselves and each other, Taylor says in her online fundraiser.

“You face daily emotional, mental and physical challenges that you conquer as a team of strong women.”

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It inspired mental strength and confidence, mom Joanne told the Oak Bay News.

“She feels it’s important to give back so other people can experience what she did.”

With the added challenge of being just six months post-knee surgery, the teen and her mom planned a walkathon Sunday (June 11) to raise both funds and awareness. The route, between Willows Beach Park to Oak Bay Marina is one that has inspired Taylor as an athlete living in the neighbourhood and running along the ocean walkway.

They’ll walk back and forth between the two sites from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. and will likely stop for a midday break around noon at Willows, where a tent will be set up. Visitors are welcome to stop in and say hello or make a donation. The goal is to raise $2,500 to send one girl to camp.

Donations can be made online at shorturl.at/qsNZ6.

mental healthoak bay