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The John Hillman Fund

The Man Who Walked the Walk.

At age 101, John started something amazing.

Welcome to the remarkable story of John Hillman, a centenarian, WWII Veteran, and cherished former resident of Carlton House of Oak Bay. From 2020 to 2024, John achieved an extraordinary feat, raising nearly half a million dollars for charity simply by walking laps around the Carlton House courtyard.

In 2020, John drew inspiration from the legendary Sir Thomas Moore, another British centenarian, and WWII Veteran, who famously raised £39 million for charity by walking laps in his garden. John realized that he and Moore were both colleagues and recipients of the Burma Star, and this is what sparked the idea to launch his own fundraising campaign.

John gave a lot of thought as to what causes were most important to him, and as he thought, he noticed more and more news stories about the hardships of children and families around the world. Having experienced war himself at only 17, he uniquely understood the impact that adversity has on these young lives.

It was these factors that led John to choose Save the Children as his official charitable organization. Save the Children supports youth living in the most dangerous places, and facing the toughest challenges, to ensure that every child is able to survive, stay safe and keep learning.

Starting on his 101st birthday and continuing each year through his 102nd, 103rd, and 104th, John walked his age in laps around the Carlton House courtyard, each time over the span of ten days. Unperturbed by weather conditions – be it sunshine, pouring rain, or a grueling heat dome – John set a goal to raise $1000 for each lap, consistently surpassing this target and accumulating over $460,000 for children in need.

John's philanthropic efforts resonated deeply with the Carlton House and Oak Bay community, Victoria, and beyond. The community rallied behind him, offering donations, love, and encouragement. His inspiring story gained widespread attention, being featured in both local and national news, and even earning recognition from the British Royal Family.

On July 8, 2024, at the age of 105, John peacefully passed away. It was his heartfelt wish that his fund remains open indefinitely, so that people will continue to support children in need long into the future.

John will always be remembered for the special person he was, and his incredible life of service to others. He was a hero and inspiration, loved by many people, and always striving to make the world a better place. His example reminds us all that it doesn’t matter how young or old we are: We can always make a difference in the lives of others.

If you’d like to donate, please visit The John Hillman Fund on Save the Children’s website.

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