103-year-old Oak Bay veteran hopes for surge of donations to help children of Ukraine

With a sip of scotch John Hillman, 103, celebrates finishing his 103-lap fundraiser for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)With a sip of scotch John Hillman, 103, celebrates finishing his 103-lap fundraiser for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)John Hillman, 103, takes the final 13 laps of his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
John Hillman, 103, celebrates with song alongside singer Stephanie Greaves, after finishing his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)John Hillman, 103, celebrates with song alongside singer Stephanie Greaves, after finishing his 103-lap fundraiser walking around his Oak Bay courtyard to raise cash for Save the Children. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

With a sip of Scotch and heartfelt thanks for the generosity of his fans gathered, 103-year-old John Hillman finished 103 laps of his courtyard Friday (May 13).

It’s the third consecutive year the Second World War veteran made daily loops of the courtyard outside his home at Carlton House in Oak Bay to raise funds for Save the Children. The global organization helps provide families and children with essential food, clean water and healthcare.

RELATED: Youngsters offer pocket money donation as Oak Bay veteran finishes fundraising walk

He raised $215,000 through the last two events – 101 laps in 2020 and 102 laps in 2021 – inspired by fellow British veteran, the late Capt. Tom Moore, who raised funds walking laps at his UK residence in 2020. After learning Moore died in February 2021, Hillman repeated the event that year. Moore and the children, particularly those living in Ukraine, continue to be Hillman’s inspiration.

As he finished his laps, Hillman stopped to sing along with performer Stephanie Greaves who prepared a pair of Vera Lynn songs at the centenarian’s request.

At the start of the final laps, his fundraising tally (with a goal of $103,000 to support Save the Children) sat just beyond $80,000. While Hillman thanked the community for its giving nature, MLA Murray Rankin suggested it could be just the beginning.

Those looking to help Hillman hit his target have until the end of May. To learn more, or to donate, go to savethechildren.akaraisin.com/ui/teamsave/p/Hillman103.

RELATED: 103-year-old Oak Bay veteran invites youth to join Save the Children fundraiser


 

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c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

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