MS Walk 2011

Here are some pictures from the MS Walk courtesy of Ralph VE3VXY. Thanks to all those who helped out this year:

  • Peter VE3FJI
  • Nick VE3EBC
  • Benita VA3VAJ
  • Robert VE3VAJ
  • Joy VA3SIF
  • Bob VE3IEL
  • Rudie VE3OUA
  • Arpad VA3VAD
  • Ralph VE3VXY (net control)
  • Malcolm VE3BGD (monitoring weather from home)

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See more photos at the MS Society Ontario Events photostream.

Nine Amateur Radio volunteers, and one home bound weather watcher, took part as communicators for the MS Supercities Walk in Scarborough. This was a Ten K Walk that began at Cedarbrae Collegiate lunch room, at Markham Rd., then on through Thompson Park, Birkdale Ravine; and, followed the bike path to Birkdale Centre at Ellesmere Rd. near Brimley Rd. Scarborough.

Everything started out well. Then the weather became an unwelcome problem.  There was cold wind, then rain, then sleet followed by blowing snow. What a day it had become. Our home bound weather watcher, Malcolm VE3BGD, kept us informed as to what weather we should expect next. There was no good news about that.

One of our operators was positioned in a weary walker vehicle. This operator was well known white caner, Rudie VE3OUA. It was a perfect role for him. We always knew where this important vehicle was located. The weary walker van had been provided for the day by a local Chrysler dealer.

Ralph VE3VXY, handled the base communications station at the Cedarbrae lunch room headquarters. From there he could keep track of all the Amateur Radio reports on the progress of the walkers.

Arpad VA3VAD, assisted at the lunch room headquarters station as a relief operator and Man Friday liaison with MS Walk officials.

Peter VE3FJI, took position at the bike path entrance to the Thompson Park area. He could report on walkers as they started out & returned back to the lunch room area.

Nick VE3EBC, was positioned at the halfway watering station. Many Walkers turned around at this point. Through Nick we learned of those walkers who would not be completing the entire Walk.

Benita VA3VAJ, was positioned near the end of the bike path at a stairway leading walkers up out of Thompson Park. This was a very open position to the bad weather that pushed in. This lady deserves a lot of credit for the way she handled reports from her position.

Robert VE3VAJ, Benita's OM, took position at the crosswalk that allowed Walkers to cross Brimley Rd. safely. Robert was able to alert us as to the traffic and Walkers at the Brimley Rd. crossing.

Joy VA3SIF, new to public service events, took up position at the entrance of Birkdale Ravine. All this was very new to Joy. He showed his dedication as the day; and, the bad weather came as a new experience for this kind of radio operation.

I took up position at Birkdale Centre. I used my own call sign VE3IEL. From here I acted as Site Manager for Walk communications.

Local repeater VE3TOR provided excellent coverage throughout the morning's exercise. Thanks to Bernie VE3AOU, the custodian of repeater VE3TOR, we were provided with a means of reliable communications.

I am not sure as to the entire success of this year's Scarborough MS Walk. Due to the bad weather there were not as many walkers out as in past years.

At the conclusion of the Walk we were all provided with a welcome lunch and hot coffee.

The Scarborough Amateur Radio Club in cooperation with Toronto ARES, had a good outing. Good communications were provided throughout the morning's event. The Scarborough Club call sign VE3WE, was back on the air once again. It is not surprising that the Scarborough Club is active in our community. It is the dedication of Scarborough Club members, and local ARES personnel that give local officials assurance of our willingness to help out.

The only way to prepare for an emergency is to learn through present day action.

You learn as to who you may count on. You learn the limits of the equipment you have for use.

Finally, the old Air Force wartime call, “ take care of your people, take care of your equipment, get the job done,” is remembered as good advice from our OTs.

Submitted by Bob Chrysler VE3IEL.

Toronto ARES EC for the Scarborough Area.