Walking a Decade for a Cure

Lakeland MS Walk to celebrate its 10th year

The Lakeland MS Society will host its tenth annual MS Walk this May in St. Paul. As part of the celebrations, the MS Society will be at next Friday’s Pontiacs game at the Centennial Centre in Bonnyville registering walkers and if you register before the end of February you’ll be entered to win a $500 travel voucher to fly anywhere Air Canada travels.

“For the entire month of February, anyone who registers for the walk will get entered in for a $500 voucher from Air Canada,” Senior Coordinator, Programs, Services and Development for the Lakeland Chapter of the MS Society, Brenda Rosychuk, says the goal is to sign up as many walkers as possible for this year’s event.

In its tenth year, the MS Walk continues to be a strong fundraiser, explains Rosychuk, “The walk has been growing very successful over the past 9nin years and has raised close to $1.5 million. The awareness, it has created, has been outstanding” Last year the walk smashed their goal of $134,000 by raising $154,000. “We’re one of three walks in Alberta that passed our fundraising goal last year; even with the economy.” This year the walk’s goal is to raise $135,000.

A portion of the money raised goes to fueling Lakeland programs and services; while the remaining portion goes to innovative national research. Canada has the highest population of people living with MS, in the world. In the Lakeland the MS Society serves around 40-45 people in 65 towns. The radius stretches from Athabasca to Cold Lake, Willington to Mundare, Two Hills to Elk Point and Bonnyville to St. Paul. There could be even more of a shadow population of people living with MS who do not necessarily utilize the MS Society services, explains Rosychuk.

Along with the walk or run event, the MS Walk will finish with celebrations at the Rec Centre in St. Paul. Local favourite band, Boomtown, will be playing, Rosychuk says the excitement has already started to build, “it’ll be the best walk yet!” Participates can choose from a variety of different walking or running routes; including, 2 kms, 5 kms, & 10 kms, walk and 5 kms, 10 kms, & half marathon, run.

Registering for the walk is easy, you can go online, stop by the St. Paul office (4801-39 Street, Suite 107), or even call the office and Brenda will register you over the phone, 587-465-0185. Or stop by the Bonnyville Pontiacs game Friday, February 10th, the MS Society will be set up prior to the game, registering walkers. Game time is 7:30, so be sure to get there early.