A sea of purple flooded Boitanio Park Saturday for the Seventh Annual Walks for ALS in Williams Lake.
Volunteers, organizers, families, friends and supporters of those affected by the disease — in all upwards of 100 walkers — helped raise $18,000 toward support and awareness for people living with ALS.
“I think this is a record here,” said Wendy Toyer, executive director of the ALS Society of BC, who was visiting Williams Lake for the walk.
“I’m amazed how much this has grown, and I want to thank everyone for coming out, and thank the community for its support.”
Eileen Campbell, one of the event’s organizers who originally started the walk in Williams Lake seven years ago, echoed Toyer’s sentiments and said she can’t believe how much the walk has grown.
“When we first started my vision was to have more people,” she said. “We didn’t have a support system here, and now I feel we’ve got a whole community. It’s important to know people, share the same journey and support people.”
The walk began with speeches from dignitaries including Toyer, Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, Campbell and Williams Lake Walk for ALS co-ordinator Chris Seibert, and two local residents, Bill Montgomery and Angus Morrison, who are living with ALS.
Following the walk through Boitanio Park there was a silent auction and barbecue for participants, along with entertainment from local musicians Rosetta Paxton, LeRae Haynes, Al Giddens and Bernadette Ducharme.
The walk is a nationwide event to raise awareness and funds for patient services and ALS research.
Proceeds from the Walk for ALS go to the ALS Society of BC to provide support services for people living with ALS in BC and to the Canadian ALS Research program to strive toward a world without ALS.