marie jacques raises money for MERF

From left: Maj Gen Seymour Monro, Marie Jacques, Norman Thomson and Lorna Creswell.

Marie Jacques (80) hands over £1860 from 90 mile sponsored walk to Moray Emergency Relief Fund and Moray Way booklet author.

AN 80-year-old diabetic woman who completed a 90-mile sponsored walk has given the proceeds to a worthy cause.

Accompanied by her daughter Janet and rescue Greyhound Ziggy, Marie Jacques walked from Dallas Dhu distillery to Grantown-on-Spey, then trekked from Cragganmore to Spey Bay and back to Forres via Findhorn to celebrate her 80th birthday and raise money for the Moray Emergency Relief Fund (MERF).

Marie handed over £1700 to MERF co-founder the Lord-Lieutenant of Moray, Major General Seymour Monro at Moray Firth Credit Union (MFCU), the savings and loans co-operative she used to volunteer at and who displayed her progress in their shop window.

She said: “It felt good to know that my walk would be going some way to helping local people who are experiencing difficulties. It made a very enjoyable experience more worthwhile.”

MERF has now raised over £195,000 and distributed over £155,000 in grants to 455 applicants.

Maj Gen Seymour Monro said: “We are most grateful to all those who have donated and particularly to Marie Jacques, who has raised this fantastic sum by walking along our glorious Moray paths. Marie is our ‘Captain Tom’ and we thank her for her novel idea and her great endeavour.”

He added: “The MERF is very much still in business and will be required for many months to come. So please continue to donate if you can and to apply for a grant if you need to. The forms are on the Moray Council website.”

Marie also donated £160 to local author, Norman Thomson, to help him write about the Moray Way.

She said: “The proposed Moray Way Booklet will make a huge difference to the enjoyment of the Speyside Way and Moray Coastal Path – the Dava Way Companion he wrote was invaluable and something similar for the rest of the trail would be wonderful.

“I hope my efforts will let the volunteers who have worked so hard on these paths know that there efforts are very much appreciated.”

MFCU founding member, Lorna Creswell, added: “Marie has been giving tips on where new signs are needed. Amazing achievements and hopefully her walk will inspire others to take up the route.