by Pat Evans
The 3rd annual Lanark North Leeds Parkinson Superwalk was the most successful walk yet, drawing hundreds from local communities and raising over $60,000, more than double the amount from the first year. This year, for the first time, Parkinson Canada has announced that up to five percent of these funds will remain in Lanark North Leeds to be used in a way that will benefit the community.
Pat Evans and Gayle Truman, co-chairs of this event, believe that the success of the walk reflects the generosity and determination of the Parkinson’s community who have whole-heartedly embraced this year’s Superwalk theme of ‘No Matter What’. But they feel it is also a sign of the increasing number of people being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. “We are very pleased with Parkinson Canada’s announcement, and will be setting up a committee to decide how to best use these funds. We will continue to advocate for services for people with Parkinson’s throughout Lanark North Leeds.”
Organizers were grateful for the support from local Mayors John Fenik, Shawn Pankow, Robin Jones, and Arie Hoogenboom, whose involvement with the Parkinson’s community has helped to raise awareness of local needs. Mayor John Fenik reminded the crowd: “With the number of people with Parkinson’s Disease on the rise, the community is feeling the impact. I am happy to show my support to help increase the awareness of this progressive neurological disease.”
Ottawa CTV News Anchor, Patricia Boal, generously donated her time again this year as the event emcee, and participants were treated to a mini class from Melissa Cornacchia, who is trained to offer the Dance for P.D program. Participants were also inspired by Lou McCann, a local resident with Parkinson’s, who delivered stirring remarks about his experience with the disease and the importance of having support from family, friends, and caregivers. Organizers would also like to acknowledge the contributions from local sponsors who helped to make this event such a success.