With the names of loved ones firmly attached, the procession of redshirted participants left Pitt Meadows' Spirit Square on Saturday, each step raising critical funding for research and support services for Parkinson's disease.
The Maple Ridge chapter of the Parkinson's SuperWalk - Canada's largest fundraiser for the Parkinson Society and its regional affiliates - is still young but coordinator Edith Elliott has seen it grow every year.
"This is only our third year, but we're still learning," she said. "We're getting better at it."
With an expectation of a couple hundred or more attendees, Elliott credits an increase in advertising and word of mouth as the reason for the walk's growing popularity. She said she has seen an increase in the numbers of those coming from out-of-area, such as Coquitlam, Mission, and even Vancouver.
All the added donations will help to reach the local walk's goal of $25,000 to $30,000, Elliott said, optimistic at hitting the target. "I know at this point in time there's over $9,000 in online [donations]," she said. "We could be well on our way into the $25s at least."
And while the goal may be high, the fundraiser has a history of smashing records. Last year, the walk received $19,800 in donations - seven times the amount received in its inaugural year.
"I actually got a phone call from the organizer to the society saying, 'Um, are these figures right?'" Elliott recounted.
"She couldn't believe it, that little Maple Ridge made so much money!" Money raised by the walk will go to fund research, education, and support services offered by the Parkinson Society. Currently, there are more than 11,000 people living with Parkinson's in B.C.
@ Copyright 2013