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Seniors strut their stuff in support of charity

Seniors take part in the St. Hilda’s Foundation Snail Strut Walk in Toronto on Thursday. The walk is geared towards people who are 85 years and older with 96 years being the average age.

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

Residents of a Toronto seniors home in need of repairs took matters into their own hands, and into local streets, on Thursday for an annual Snail Strut Walk.

"We try to engage the residents, families and the community to be aware of seniors' issues and why we need to raise money for capital projects," said Siew Lee Brett, director of development for the St. Hilda's Towers Foundation.

The foundation is a charitable fundraising arm of the not-for-profit seniors home, which provides affordable housing in two towers at Dufferin Street and Eglinton Avenue.

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Eva Altay, at 103 years old, was the eldest of more than 115 participants in the event, where the average age is 97. Ms. Altay has been living in St. Hilda's Towers Retirement Residence for 21 years and credits the facilities for her good health and sharp mind.

"It's the secret to why I'm so old. It's because they keep me well," said Ms. Altay, who also volunteers at the residence. "When I was younger, I could do much more, but now I just help with little things."

Mary Pagon, age 96, has raised more than $4,000 of her $5,000 goal for the event and did the short walk Thursday morning.

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