AMHERST – Ninety-six people turned out last Saturday to remember and honour Lynda Burke with the fifth annual Lynda Burke Memorial Walk, raising close to $5,000.
“It’s a testimony to what people thought of Lynda,” said long-time friend Donna Fraser.
“You only had to meet Lynda once and you knew her,” said another long-time friend Nancy Briggs.
Briggs, who graduated from nursing school with Burke in 1976, said her friend was a wonderful person who everyone loved.
Having passed away suddenly from undetermined causes five years ago at the age of 48, Burke left behind husband Philip and two children, Molly (19 at the time) and Cale (14 at the time), who decided to honour her every year with the memorial walk. Proceeds going to a scholarship that is given to a graduating student entering into the field of medicine.
“There are two $1,000 scholarships given, preferably to a student entering nursing, but expanded to anyone going into medicine,” Molly said.
Additional funds raised from the memorial walk are given to families in similar situation to that of the Burkes.
The memorial walk began at the health- care centre and finished at Gables Lodge with lunch and photos celebrating Burke’s life. She worked at the hospital and both Centennial Villa and Gables Lodge.
“There was a terrific turnout today for the weather being cloudy and wet,” said Greg Smith, Lynda’s brother, who participates in the annual walk with his 13-year-old son Emmitt.
Molly said they have the walk because, prior to her death, Lynda had lost 50 pounds in the Weight Watchers program and walking had become her passion.
“We thought, what better way to honour her than to do something she really loved?” Molly said.