For Captain Tom Moore, it began as a little challenge in his back garden by walking a hundred laps to try and raise around NZ$2000 for an NHS charity.
Today, he was honoured with a flyover by the Royal Air Service after reaching a total of $61 million.
It is a combination of an extraordinary few weeks and a celebration of how one man’s cheerful determination has inspired people around the globe.
“Captain Tom, I know I speak for the whole country when I say we wish you a happy one hundredth birthday. Your heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of an entire nation,” shared British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Perhaps the biggest sign of gratitude is in the nearby Bedford School, where 150,000 birthday cards for Captain Tom have been displayed.
“It’s amazing, I’m really proud because I’ve known my grandad all my life and he’s always been there for us,” says Captain Tom’s granddaughter Georgia.
Mr Moore shared he had been overwhelmed with gratitude by the many well wishes he received.
“I’m absolutely delighted with all the people who have come to wish me a many happy birthday. It really is absolutely awesome to the people who have been so kind to make the remarks. Thank you all very much,” shared Mr Moore.
He’s now been made an honourary Colonel accompanied with a birthday letter from the Queen and congratulations from around the globe.