The inaugural Walk for Muscular Dystrophy in Estevan on August 23 generated enough support that it is expected to become an annual event.
Tammy Reihl from the Saskatchewan chapter for Muscular Dystrophy Canada said the Estevan walk raised about $3,000. More than a dozen people braved steady rain to complete the walk, which started and finished at the Royal Heights Park. Participants walked through much of northwest Estevan.
“The rain sometimes puts a damper on the spirits of people coming out to join, but from the looks of everyone here, they were excited to join us for the first walk in Estevan,” said Reihl.
Ken Johnson was the top fundraiser, as he brought in more than $2,100. Johnson is one of several clients for Muscular Dystrophy Canada in the southeast.
“I met Mr. Johnson a few months ago, and invited him to come out to the walk,” said Reihl. “He spearheaded his fundraising campaign, and called me up a couple weeks ago to say 'Hey, I'm done, and I've got $2,100,' which is pretty phenomenal for a fundraiser.”
Several members of the Estevan Fire and Rescue Services participated in the walk as well. Reihl noted that firefighters across Canada are a big part of Muscular Dystrophy Canada's fundraising efforts.
“Since 1954 … firefighters have been with us for that journey,” said Reihl. “Estevan firefighters, by being here today, are certainly creating awareness for us. This is a cause that they believe in.”
Last year firefighters across Canada raised $3.3 million for the fight against muscular dystrophy, she said.
All funds raised during the walk will stay in Saskatchewan, Reihl said. They will be directed towards funding equipment, research and support systems for people with neuro-muscular disorders.
Reihl said it was great that Estevan could have a walk, because it will generate both funds and awareness for muscular dystrophy.
This year is the 60th year for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, and while they haven't reached their goal of finding a cure for the condition, Reihl said they have discovered treatments, and they're moving closer to a cure through donations from supporters, and the inspiration of their clients.