SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A 1,000 mile trek across New England led one man to Springfield Thursday morning to shine a light on a charity near and dear to his heart.

The journey to get here was a special one

“I’ve been feeling pretty good. The weather’s been fine. I’ve met so many wonderful people,” said Dwight Barnes.

Barnes, a New Hampshire resident, is feeling good after walking 1,000 miles to Springfield Thursday morning.

“Well, I started in Boston at the Ronald McDonald House at Boston Harbor on the 17th of August, traveled up in to Maine, into Portland and Bangor where there are Ronald McDonald Houses,” Barnes explained.

After Maine, he continued to Burlington, VT and across the Mohawk Trail to finally arrive in Springfield at the Ronald McDonald House.

“I have had tremendous support from my family, my friends, the RMHC team here in Springfield today,” Barnes noted.

The journey was all for a good cause: the Ronald McDonald House charities of New England.

“Well number one, the charity does tremendous work with helping families with critically ill children. That’s the basis of what they do,” Barnes said.

After working and owning a McDonald’s for 30 years and donating to the Ronald McDonald House, he decided to continue to give back, but this time, in a unique way.

“After I retired, I took the walking I was doing for my health together with the charity and decided to visit all the Ronald McDonald Houses throughout New England,” Barnes added.

Barnes told Western Mass News he had different plans for fundraising this year

With fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald House being cancelled due to the pandemic, Barnes felt shining a light on this charity was the least he could do.

“Funding is much more difficult this year in light of COVID, so all the more reason to go out and do something like this…I’m just so happy to be here and shine that spotlight on this wonderful organization,” Barnes said.

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