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Running in his Grandmother’s Footsteps

October 17, 2011

By pwrdf

Like any 11 year old, Liam Olsen loves playing and learning new things. He speaks Mandarin and English; does very well in school; is very musical–has had piano lessons, sang in the Vancouver Children’s Choir for the past two years and plays trumpet in his school’s band.  He attends Capilano Elementary in North Vancouver where he is a member of the cross country and track programs. He is an avid reader and loves to design imaginary cities and towns. He has traveled widely, having visited five of the seven continents including climbing the Great Wall of China and visiting a 5,000 year old passage grave at Newgrange in Ireland.

But Liam has another passion–helping others.

Liam began fundraising for others in 2008 with The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. Liam ran five kilometres and raised more than $1,700 for PWRDF. In 2009 he ran 5km for the Grandmothers Campaign at the Stephen Lewis Foundation (because, he said, his grandmother was the one who inspired him to begin.) In 2010 he ran 6km for the David Suzuki Foundation and in 2011 he ran once more for PWRDF. Liam’s 8km run raised funds for the Horn of Africa through PWRDF. On the day of his run, August 29, Liam had received cash and pledges totaling $4,050 including his own donation of $250-half of his bank account!

Inspiration can work both ways. In February of 2010, Liam’s grandmother Gladys Olsen walked 10,000 steps a day for one hundred days to assist the mission of PWRDF in its work around the world.

When asked why he does this, Liam responded, “We just don’t realize how fortunate we are to have so much when people just as good as us have nothing. And if you have the ability to act, why not?” He is much loved by the congregation of St. Anne in Richmond, BC.  He has been described by them as “an old soul” and as “a deep thinker”.


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