Last year's inaugural event drew 26 participants yet still managed to raise over $3

Lace up your shoes for the Parkinson SuperWalk

Annual event raises funds and awareness for degenerative disorder that affects central nervous system.

When thousands of Canadians step out their doors this week, they’ll be putting on their running shoes to support a great cause as the 17th annual Parkinson SuperWalk hits the streets of communities across the country .

“When you have Parkinson’s, you need someone to talk to,” said Invermere SuperWalk organizer Grace Sander. “You need a lot of support.”

Taking place in Invermere on Sunday (September 16) and beginning at 1 p.m. at Pothole Park, the Invermere Superwalk is now entering its second year after a highly successful first year that raised well over $3,000. After attending SuperWalks in Calgary for a few years and despite enjoying her time spent there, Sander, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1998, decided that she wanted to keep any funds raised in British Columbia, and so the Invermere SuperWalk was born.

“My favourite part is the people,” Sander said. “Walking and talking with the people, and just being around them, and also being around other people with Parkinson’s.”

While the overall number of participants was on the slim side for the first outing, Sander attributes this to the fact that she only had two weeks to do all the planning and set up, and would like to see more people come out to support the cause this time around.

Despite only 26 people attending the first Invermere SuperWalk, the total money raised for such a small group actually meant the per capita donations were well beyond what some larger city centres were able to accomplish. Sander raised about $1,900 the first year and said that coming into 2012 she was aiming for $2,000. By now, she has raised $2,500 and will still be accepting donations right up until September 16.

“I try to get as much information out there as possible,” Sander said. “It’s a really good feeling (to see how many people come out each year.)”

Donations are not required to take part and Sander welcomes anyone who is interested in supporting a great cause to join her on the 3-kilometre walk around Pothole Park on Saturday. Money raised directly supports the goals of Parkinson Society British Columbia: advocacy, education, community outreach, scientific research and public awareness. Fore more information, visit www.parkinson.bc.ca.

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