Cape Coral teacher organizes walk to help animals in the Bahamas

Step-by-step, several people want to help animals still hurting in the Bahamas after the destruction by Hurricane Dorian. They are undertaking the mission to raise money by walking 20 miles this weekend.

Leslie Vilardi loves her four-legged friends. She has a dog and two cats. So the Cape Coral ESE teacher at Hector A. Cafferate Junior Elementary organized a walk this weekend that will help animals in the Bahamas impacted by Dorian. The money will go to the Humane Society of Grand Bahama.

“January 11th,” Vilardi said, “we are meeting here at Rotary Park and we’re going to try to walk 20 miles around the Cape.”

Vilardi started recruiting friends and fellow teachers to walk with her for the cause after seeing an ‘inspiring people‘ story on WINK News. In the story, Karen Paul raised more than $2,600 by walking 60 miles.

“I thought that was such a great thing to do and I wanted to do that same,” Vilardi said.

Marlissa Gervasoni, who is also participating in the mission, said her friend, Vilardi, called her and asked if she wanted to join.

“As I thought about it more, I kept thinking the Humane Society was probably kind of left behind because so many people were trying to help the people while it was also happening to the animals,” Gervasoni said. “So it gave me that extra nudge to get out there and say, ‘I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna walk it.'”

You can join them on the 20 miles trek or just walk a portion of it. They said that any support is appreciated for their mission to making an impact. The walk starts on Saturday at 8 a.m. in Rotary Park. These inspiring people show it only takes steps to help animals in need.

“It only takes a few people to make a difference,” Vilardi said.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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