Geraldton women fundraising

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Leah Hirst and Stacey Stewart have been working towards their Great Wall of China walk by climbing up and down Snowden Street.
Camera IconLeah Hirst and Stacey Stewart have been working towards their Great Wall of China walk by climbing up and down Snowden Street. Credit: Geraldton Guardian, Tamra Carr

You don’t catch many people taking an easy stroll up Snowden Street.

It’s one of Geraldton’s near-straight inclines, a slope vertical enough to make cars go barrelling towards Chapman Road.

Despite the street being tough on the legs, sisters-in-law Leah Hirst and Stacey Stewart are pacing up and down the stretch every chance they get.

According to them, it’s one of few places in Geraldton to prepare to hike up and down one of East Asia’s most famous landmarks.

In two weeks, the duo will crawl, slide and walk crumbling sections of the Great Wall of China, the centuries-old sprawling fortress that spans more than 21,000km.

Their 50km trek is a fundraiser for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, which investigates the causes and treatments for major disease.

So far friends, families and local businesses have backed them to the tune of $9000, surpassing their original fundraising target of $7000.

Mrs Hirst said her business, JMH Mechanical Services, had been sponsoring the Institute for several years, while Mrs Stewart said she was inspired to join because as a registered nurse, she cares for a lot of cancer patients.

The pair were originally unsure whether to jump on board because of home commitments, but concluded their children would learn an invaluable lesson on charity and community service.

“With five young children between us we weren’t sure about leaving the kids for a couple of weeks and it was hard to find the time to fundraise and to train but we think it provides a great message to our kids and they’ve been helping out with the fundraising too,” Mrs Hirst said.

“It’s good for them as well as for us.”

Mrs Hirst has previously volunteered at an orphanage in Nepal, while Mrs Stewart said she was particularly excited because she had only ever visited Bali.

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