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

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

KAST receives $15,000 for inclusive programs at Nelson Tech Club

‘These programs will be a perfect introduction to using technology’

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Most Read