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

Sylvan Lake family ‘humbled’ by support as son undergoes cancer treatment

Zane Baker was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017 and will now travel to Florida for treatment

Sylvan Lake increases Municipal Enforcement activity along lakefront

With more activity in the downtown and lakefront area, officers will be more visible during summer

Sylvan Lake’s north water reservoir project to proceed with larger price tag

Council approved the tender and budget increase for the construction of the reservoir

Town of Sylvan Lake passes 2019 tax rate, estimates education tax

Sylvan Lake and all municipalities have been left without an education tax from the Province

Town of Sylvan Lake to replace old water meters to streamline monthly billing

Town Council also approved replacing old water meters to the current technology

Trudeau touts economic record at Liberal fundraiser in Vancouver

The Prime Minister was in B.C. for much of this week

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Red Deer man arrested in connection with Leduc armed robbery

Leduc RCMP asking for public assistance after armed robbery – UPDATE

Leduc RCMP seek older suspect in alleged assault

Leduc RCMP seek public assistance in identifying assault suspect

School bus crash in Edmonton sends 12 to hospital, 2 with broken bones

Alberta Health Services said there were no life-threatening injuries

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear Alberta murder appeals

Sheena Cuthill and her husband Timothy Rempel were found guilty three years ago of killing Ryan Lane

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read