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mainBagpiper Steven Wolfe led the WALK-IT for Parkinson’s participants through North Shore Park September 10.

Hub Staff

It was a beautiful day for a walk and the number of participants who took part in the WALK-IT for Parkinson’s at North Shore Park September 10 doubled over last year to fight, research and support those afflicted with Parkinson’s disease.

The second annual event raised $20,115 and counting with over 45 participants tracking their steps with special step-counters as they walked 5 kilometres from North Shore Park to Miramichi Bay and back.

Volunteer organizer Norma Kempers, whose husband John succumbed to the disease over a year ago, said the money raised is put to use locally. Kempers organized the walk in Kincardine for over a decade and said she was pleased with the participant response when it moved to Port Elgin in 2016.

“The Parkinson’s Society of Southwestern Ontario uses [funds raised] for education, groups and conferences and just generally supporting patients across Southwestern Ontario,” Kempers said, adding that funds also go toward research. “Canada is big in research for Parkinsons,” she said.

Kempers believes that there is a growing concern regarding the degenerative disorder. “There are about ten people every day in Canada being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and I realize that people are starting to pay attention and realize what a concern it is and we just totally appreciate their support,” she said.

Event organizer Leah Coulthart-Howe said that 19 business around Saugeen Shores supported the event with 18 volunteers stepping up to lend a hand.

Overall 14 walks will be taking place in September across Southwestern Ontario with a goal of raising $405,000. Over 22 years, the walk has raised 5.34 million in support of people living with Parkinson’s disease with the Kincardine and Port Elgin walks to date raising $281,244.

A Parkinson’s support group meets once a month in Kincardine at Malcolm Place Retirement Home.

fun groupFrom left: Alex Ashdown, Adam O’Handley, Deanna Hartman and Kelsey Mawhinney had a fun time dressing up with creative props before their walk at the WALK-IT for Parkinson’s September 10.

nagleTravis (left), Olivia, Shawn and Pam Nagle before the second annual WALK-IT for Parkinson’s at North Shore Park September 10.

hills familyThe Hills family came from Kincardine and Alma to participate in the walk September 10.

chiMembers from Tai Chi Taoiste invited participants to take part in a Tai Chi routine September 10.

holly 560Owner of Fitness Corner, Holly Vanderzwet (centre), got the participants ready with a warm-up to OutKast’s 2003 hit “Hey Ya!”

walkersOver 45 participants raised $20,115 and counting at the WALK-IT for Parkinson’s at North Shore Park September 10.