Dawson Creek Walk for ALS continues to raise hope for a cure

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It was a beautiful day for the walk, which began at the Walter Wright Pioneer Village just after 11 a.m. that day. The total raised from the event is still being tallied, but local organizer Shirley Dubois said she expects it will exceed last year's total.

"We did $17,500 last year, and I know we're already over that, so I know we're going to do well. I'm more than happy with our result – we had a very good walk."

She added the sponsorships from local businesses this year were excellent.

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The weather was perfect for the walk, which was officially five kilometres, though participants could chose to walk – or run, cycle or wheel – as far as they wanted.

"We had a beautiful day, and a beautiful day last year, and I think it’s the perfect time of year for it because it`s warm but it`s not overly warm, so it`s a nice walk," said Dubois.

She said the success of the first two years of the walk has her already excited for the possibilities next year.

"We're going to grow every year, even if it is just a little bit. We have certainly more and more interest from the Fort St. John area, for example, and I just feel this is really going to be a big thing. Every year we learn more and figure out new things we can do, and it's very important that we do go ahead."

For Dubois, the effort to raise money for a cure is a personal one. She lost her brother last December to ALS, and a cousin a few years ago, and she said she is also motivated by the stories of others she has during the walks.

"I think that people who have been touched with it (ALS), whether it’s a friend or family member, it just kind of unites you because you feel for each other and you know what they are going through. I think it is very important for people to know they are not alone."

After returning from the walk, participants were treated to a barbeque courtesy of local Rotarian Alex Reschny. Raffle prizes were also drawn for, and Coleen Cole from Dawson Creek was the lucky winner of return airfare for two courtesy of WestJet, valued up to $2,200, while Wanda Stopnik from Chetwynd won a $200 gift basket filled with merchandise generously donated by local businesses.

Once the totals have all been tallied, the top three fundraising individuals or teams will receive prizes donated by Three Monkeys, the Dawson Creek Co-op, and Bing`s Furniture, respectively.

Dubois said she is very grateful for all of the support around the event.

"I would just like to say a very big thank you to each and every person who participated or volunteered. We need people like them, and hopefully we`ll find more and more. I`ll just say for next year, `Peace River area: go, go, go!"

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