AC/DC guitarist donates to Canadian’s fundraiser for Alzheimer’s

Angus Young’s late brother and bandmate, Malcolm Young, was diagnosed with dementia

Steve McNeil, during his fundraising skate at the Forks in Winnipeg Wednesday, February 20, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

Enthusiastic AC/DC fan Steve McNeil says he’s feeling inspired to push even further with his marathon skate for Alzheimer’s research, after the fundraiser gained support from one of his rock idols.

The Toronto hockey referee says a $19,260 donation from the Australian band’s guitarist Angus Young was a shock at first, but it has motivated him to consider extending his campaign for Alzheimer’s awareness with another stop.

“I’d like to go down to Gander, Newfoundland and do one last skate in honour of our military families battling this disease,” McNeil said in a call from Winnipeg, where he finished the seventh leg of his ice “skate-a-thon” fundraiser on Thursday.

The 57-year-old postal worker has been skating for 19 hours and 26 minutes in each of Canada’s NHL cities, dressed in AC/DC gear and playing the band’s rowdy albums on his earbuds for the entire skate.

The annual fundraiser was founded in honour of his mother who battled Alzheimer’s disease before dying in 2013. But it took on another meaning after AC/DC’s rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young — Angus’ late brother and bandmate — was diagnosed with dementia a year later.

“I just thought it would be a really cool thing if … I only listened to AC/DC,” he says of the duration of the lengthy skate, which honours his mother’s 1926 birth year.

“It kept me going through the wee hours of the night. A lot of air guitar.”

READ MORE: 69-year-old skydiver with Alzheimer’s wants to inspire others

McNeil encourages Canadians to pitch in $19.26 to his cause, but he says a significantly higher donation arrived after a man approached him in Calgary on Saturday. The band’s drummer, Chris Slade, has a son who lives in the city, and he brought his family to the rink after seeing local media reports.

Once he chatted with McNeil, Slade’s son offered to call up his father in Las Vegas for a video conversation.

A few days later, a surprise $19,260 donation was made to the Alzheimer Society of Ontario by the band’s guitarist, McNeil says.

All of the attention sparked by AC/DC has inspired the skater to think bigger.

Already this year he expanded the marathon run past its original home base in Toronto, heading to Montreal, Ottawa before going to Western Canada.

McNeil says he hopes to add an eighth skate on the East Coast near the Canadian Forces Base in Gander, if he can find a sponsor.

“The vision I have is I’m in the bottom of the C-130 (Hercules aircraft),” he says. “I would skate with all the men and women that keep us safe around the world.”

He also would love to see AC/DC rock out in a private rock concert for the Canadian troops.

Before he chases any further dreams, McNeil is winding down from his seventh marathon skate. He wrapped it up the way always does — playing AC/DC’s “Gone Shootin’” as the last track.

“I’ve got to get myself mentally prepared to do this each time. It’s easy to do when you’ve got that crankin’ in your ears,” he says of the music.

“It’s something that keeps your blood flowing through your body.”

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

New driver ticketed after sending vehicle through White Rock garden

‘We heard a big bang and he drove right into the bush,’ witness says

Hands Against Racism takes over Surrey City Hall

Event included music, dance; two people received awards

Surrey couple visits the Philippines each year to give back to wife’s former village

Nissa and Bob Clarkson give toys to children, provide medical-dental missions

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

VIDEO: Vancouver fall to Seattle in Game 2 of the playoffs

Thunderbirds topple the Giants 4-1 in Langley, evening the Western Conference series one game each

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read

l -->