(NEW YORK POST) – A British war veteran has walked 100 laps of his garden in time for his 100th birthday — and to raise a staggering $17.5 million for healthcare workers battling the coronavirus.
Captain Tom Moore originally set out to raise $1,250 for a National Health Service charity in time for his milestone birthday on April 30.
Less than a week ago, the World War II vet was thrilled at hitting that modest target.
But Moore’s fundraising effort rose astronomically after he did some media interviews, and captured the heart of his nation.
By Thursday, his campaign had raised more than $17.5 million — with the flood of donations at times crashing the site.
Using a walker, he finished the 100 laps of his 80-foot garden at his Bedfordshire home Thursday morning — saluted by a special guard of honor by the 1st battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.
Moore told the BBC he was feeling “fine” at the end of the walk — said that health care workers were the new heroes who “deserve everything we can give them.”
He also offered words of encouragement for his nation devastated by the pandemic.
“You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right,” he said.
“For all those people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Moore “embodied the spirit of the country.”
“Tom has captured the heart of the nation with his heroic efforts,” said a spokesman for Johnson, who himself praised the NHS for saving his life during his own battle with the coronavirus.
The online fundraising platform he used, JustGiving, said Moore’s campaign generated the largest donation the site has ever made.