Walk to Defeat ALS

The ALS Association Northern New England Chapter held its annual Walk to Defeat ALS at Dorset Park in South Burlington on September 25th. Nearly four hundred participants were in attendance at the 5K walk event. Combined with the $15,000 raised by Heidi and Frank Smith’s “Spartan Race” held in Killington, over $67,000 dollars were raised to fund further ALS research, advocacy, and patient services.

This year the Vermont ALS walk was held at Dorset Park on Sunday September 25. While all the donations have not been totaled, the current total is over $67,000.

This money was raised mostly by the teams created for a person with ALS; some right here in South Burlington. While there is very little corporate sponsorship for the Vermont ALS Walk. I would like to thank local businesses, PC Construction and North Country Federal Credit Union, for their financial sponsorship. We also had in-kind sponsors; Farrell’s donating water, the Chittenden Cider Mill on Dorset Street donating cider and donuts, Domino’s on Swift Street with pizzas, MS Septic and Green Mountain Video for the media support to generate awareness of ALS, Steady Transport for accounting.

Also the Cassarino’s donated their time to play music for us as well as Steve Fuchs of Burlington Boot Camp leading all with the warm up for walkers

Thanks to the coaching staff of the South Burlington Rebels Varsity Football team for allowing many of the Rebel players to come in the morning to volunteer. I must say these football players who have repeatedly come to help out deserve great thanks. They are our young men who may or may not have a connection to ALS but their continued support is wonderful. They are always respectful and most helpful thru out the day. We realize there are many other things these boys could be doing but getting up and making arrangements to get to the site and staying to help make sure the walkers get thru each intersection of the walk is greatly appreciated. It is without a doubt an honor to acknowledge their contribution for the past 4 years.

For the second year, we have a little girl from South Burlington who got up early to set up a Lemonade Stand (Lilly’s Lemonade) to raise money for Frank Petrosino’s team. Lilly raised over 60 dollars for this year’s walk. What an amazing little girl.

Matt Mullen of Milton came with his cotton candy and popcorn—selling these items so all the proceeds went to the walk.

The Shiners from the Rutland area were there as well. The cost to have them come—well let me tell you this—at the end as I was thanking them, a gentleman shared how he had lost his dad to ALS and donated the fee back to the walk.

Pete and Al Creiver who’s son Jim died of ALS continue to run Jim’s House out on Creamery Road in Williston. These two people have always gone above and beyond in the care for people with needs by continuing to keep Jim’s House a place for patients needing overnight stays for doctors appointments at the hospital or hosting support groups for ALS.

Tony Adams who lost his wife to ALS has emceed the ALS walk for us since 2008 and does such a wonderful job.

While it is difficult to find corporate sponsor to help generate money for ALS there is such a huge in-kind donation from the people in our community.

The Goyette Gang (in honor of my husband Jeff Goyette), and the team for which I am the captain, has always been blessed with donations, however, this year we choose to work all year long with family and friends to make sure Walk Day is a “Great Day” for all the people.

The City of South Burlington’s Rec Department has been so wonderful and supportive of our cause as they are for all the cause events held at the park. Thank you Volunteers and South Burlington for helping us make the ALS walk day special for all the teams and family’s affected.

SOURCE: Deb Wehrlin, Walk Coordinator

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