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

Giant gnome finds new home at Galey Farms in Saanich

‘Howard’, the iconic Nanoose Bay attraction, will be moved as soon as possible

Man ticketed by Oceanside RCMP after trailer flips on Highway 19

Incident caused delays to southbound traffic

Inspirational Parksville youngster Kaiden Finley dies after cancer battle

‘He was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

DCCs to assist in funding land acquisitions and development

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

UPDATE: Nanaimo ferry sailing cancelled due to docking mishap in Gibsons

Tuesday’s 8:45 p.m. sailing from Departure Bay cancelled as vessel re-deployed

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Vancouver Island home to B.C.’s luckiest lotto store

Five million-dollar winners have bought tickets from same Port Alberni corner store

Most Read