Ontario man ends 7-city tour with 20-hour skate for Alzheimer’s at The Forks

A snowy, cool winter night in Winnipeg didn’t stop a Toronto man from raising funds for a cause near and dear to his heart.

Steve McNeil put on his skates Wednesday to go around one of the rinks at The Forks for 19 hours and 26 minutes.

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“I do it for my mother who battled Alzheimer’s for 20 years and to pick-up the awareness level of the disease right across the country,” said McNeil.

McNeil has done the skate in Toronto for the past seven-years, but decided to also do it in all of the Canadian cities that have NHL teams to see which community can raise the most money for Alzheimer’s.

“Each city that I skate in has a link set-up, which can be found on 1926skate.com, and people can raise money for the local Alzheimer’s Society,” he said.

“All of those links are staying open until the Stanley Cup is raised. After that, we’ll announce which city raised the most money,” McNeil added.

While many may think the hours McNeil spends out on the ice is a challenge, he said there have been more difficult things to handle.

“The real challenge has been learning how to use Twitter and Facebook,” McNeil said with a laugh.

McNeil has already completed his skates in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.

WATCH: Steve McNeil completes his Montreal Marathon skate

He said Winnipeg has been nothing but supportive.

“When I started my skate Wednesday night, this place was packed. It’s fantastic here. Winnipeg, you have a jewel (The Forks). We need something like this in Toronto. [Skating] down on the river, it’s fantastic,” McNeil said.

No matter which city he’s skating in, McNeil circles the ice for the same amount of time, and there’s a special reason why.

“I do it in honour of my mother who was born in 1926, which is why I do it for 19 hours and 26 minutes.”

McNeil added he held the past seven years of skates in Toronto on Dec. 15 because that was his mother’s birthday.

McNeil feels no matter what, the skate is worth it.

“If I can raise the awareness level and funds for the Alzheimer Society, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Links to McNeil’s skates across Canada can be found here.

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