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2019 marks 20th year for Summerside's Esther Finkle Fund’s Walk for Kids

Dilyn Stewart peddles along as Becky Stewart, right, and Sarah Millar, left, follow along from behind during the 2018 Esther Finkle Fund’s Walk for Kids.
Dilyn Stewart peddles along as Becky Stewart, right, and Sarah Millar, left, follow along from behind during the 2018 Esther Finkle Fund’s Walk for Kids. - SaltWire File Photo
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

Paula Finkle’s mother Esther was a famous face in the P.E.I. social services world.

“She was what they called a ‘home-maker’ in her job,” said Paula.

“She supported families and worked directly with families and their kids. She would go further than the required job. She’d raise funds for small things the kids wanted.” 

After Esther's death in 1999, her children and friends created wanted a way to continue to spread her message. 

“She truly loved helping people, especially helping the kids. And we’re very grateful for the community support we’ve received,” said Finkle. 

In 2000, Esther’s four daughters and her friends founded the Esther Finkle Fund, an organization with the mission to grant the small dreams of Island children.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the organization's biggest event - Esther Finkle Fund’s Walk for Kids.

It will be Oct. 20, starting at the Miscouche Fire Hall at 2 p.m. 

After the walk, there will be live music and a free barbeque, sponsored by Consolidated Credit Union.  

Combining Esther’s two loves was the perfect idea for an event, said Finkle. 

“The idea was born because she was pretty famous for the fundraising she’d do and she was an avid walker. She’d go for a walk in a blizzard,” laughed Finkle. 

“So, the marriage of raising funds and walking turned out to be great.”

Keeping the passion going

Along with her work, Esther dedicated her time to help children accomplish small dreams, like going to the prom or joining a sports team. 

Paulette Halupa’s son was one of those kids. 

“Esther helped my son receive a pair of basketball sneakers when he was on the team at his school,” said Halupa. 

“He grew up and became a teacher and a coach. She spoke about how granting those small wishes helped lead those kids to bigger accomplishments. It did for my son.”

Halupa was among those friends who wanted to keep Esther’s passion going. 

“We wanted to honour her memory. She used to say that these small dreams can change a kid’s life. I guess that’s what we're trying to do.”

The success of the walk surprised many members, said Halupa. 

“We’re all very excited, none of us thought it would be as successful as it’s been. We get requests from all over the Island, and all of our funds are donations.” 

To donate or participate in the walk, visit: the website or Facebook page.  


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