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Canoe for Cardiac Care brings in $25,000 for St. Mary's hospital

Pete Viol recently finished a solo canoe journey going over 650 km through Ontario's waterways

FERGUS — A 68-year-old Fergus man has completed a 650 km canoe trip across Ontario in support of cardiac care at St. Mary’s General Hospital. 

Pete Viol, a retired Waterloo Region police sergeant, raised over $25,000 through the 2021 Canoe for Cardiac Care tour as of this weekend. 

A press release states over the last 28 days, Viol has paddled solo through Ontario’s scenic waterways including the Trent Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canal System battling high winds, extreme heat and fatigue.

This wasn’t Viol’s first long distance trip to raise money. He has previously biked or walked through North America in various ways four times. 

Viol has a close connection to supporting cardiac care and bringing awareness to women’s heart health issues. The press release states in 1983, Viol’s 20-year-old wife Monique died of complications following a heart transplant. 

“Through my fundraising journeys, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to one of the best cardiac centres in Canada as well as focusing on awareness of women’s heart health issues,” Viol said. 

His total raised for St. Mary’s over five years now totals over $139,000.

“The personal investment Pete makes in his fundraising quests is outstanding,” said St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation president Susan Dusick in a press release. 

“St. Mary’s is fortunate to have partners like him giving back in such a personal way. Thanks just doesn’t seem like enough.”

Donations are still being accepted for the 2021 Canoe for Cardiac online or by calling the foundation at 519-749-6539. 

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