A Hidden Gem

Och, a Wee Walk for the Bairns


Let your mind wander to the spectacular landscape of
Scotland’s western Highlands, where towering
mountains, tranquil lochs and rushing rivers
combine to reward you with a unique and ever-changing landscape. Imagine walking
from Milngavie, near Glasgow, to Fort William, at the foot of Ben Nevis, the
highest mountain in Britain, passing through several national parks as you
cover the 95 miles (152km) of the West Highland Way and see some of Scotland’s
finest scenery.
Doesn’t this sound like an
idyllic walking trip? Now imagine doing that while also raising funds for a
worthy cause…


That’s what South Africans Sharon Lotz and Chris
Jeeves of Durban plan to do next July. To celebrate her 50th
birthday in 2013, Sharon decided to find a new challenge, and while looking
online for great walks around the world, came across the West Highland Way,
which she decided would make a great birthday celebration as well as a perfect
opportunity to raise awareness of the Restmount Children’s Holiday Home in the
Drakensberg. She and Chris are even going to climb the 1344m Ben Nevis at the



The charity is close to Sharon’s heart as the home
provides 30 school children at a time the opportunity to enjoy a sponsored
holiday. “Due to a variety of home circumstances, these children would really
benefit from a holiday. And where better to go than in the Berg with beautiful
scenery, crisp air and fun outdoor activities,” she says. The children that go
away come from circumstances where there is a loss of a parent, a divorced
parent not coping, living in an abusive environment, or living with a parent
who has gone into drug rehab. “I work at a
school with young children and every day I see the hardships some of these
children live with daily, and that is why I wanted to get involved here.”


It costs around R15 000 per group of kids and Sharon
is preparing to host fundraising events ahead of the Scotland trip. One of
these fundraisers is an evening live musical show featuring the Gee Jays on Friday 30 November at
Brighton Beach School. There will be 20 hosts, each hosting tables of 10 people
at R100 per head. Whether you want to host a table or make a direct donation to
Restmount, Sharon is hoping more people get behind her birthday walk for a cause.
You can also sponsor her and Chris per kilometre of the walk next July.



Sharon and Chris started walking in 2007 when they
began taking part in the weekly 4.7km time trial at the Bluff Athletic Club,
which they later joined. “It was hard at first but over time we cut our time down
from 63 minutes to 40 minutes. Our success is in the continued support we offer
each other,” explains Sharon. “Chris and I are
not top athletes and will never win any accolades, but we have the passion to
keep challenging ourselves. My motto throughout this experience has become every
accomplishment starts with the decision to begin.”

To get behind the cause, contact
Sharon on
084 511 6516 or
lotzsj@telkomsa.net. You can also contact Restmount on 082 301 1197.
For more info on The ‘West Highland Way’ Walk, go to www.macsadventure.com, and follow the walking
duo’s journey at www.scotlandwalk2013.wordpress.com.