WNY’s Lupus Walk 2017 was as high-energy amazing time, due to the commitment of many. A huge thank you goes out to our walk committee - Allison Carr, Janell Van Cleve, Vickie Bomaster, Pauline Ziatts, and Michael Weber – who began meeting early on to ensure all aspects of the walk were properly developed. From volunteer recruitment and sponsorships, to food and basket donations, entertainment, and so on, there are many moving parts to a walk and they worked hard to meet each one of LAUNY’s goals for this year’s walk.
As for entertainment, in addition to John Barry, our wonderful DJ, and La’Movement Dance & Fitness, who got us warmed up before the walk, we were joined (invaded?) by Star Wars heroes from the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion, who walked, danced and even hula hooped with us. Each one of you contributed so much to the experience and we hope each of you will be returning for future lupus events.
Of course, the goal of the walk is to raise awareness and program funding. This year, we were joined by an astounding number of new walkers, new teams, and new donors. More than 500 people walked and more than 260 of those walkers were first-timers. Of the 50 teams who registered, 30 were new. And, so far, Lupus Walk 2017 has received than 944 donations, an increase of nearly 45% over last year. These numbers indicate a strong surge in community engagement and we are excited about what this means for the lupus community.
Finally, it is the walkers and volunteers who provide the spirit and reason for this event year after year. As one walker put it, “It means a lot having so much support. It makes battling this disease that much easier knowing how much support we all have. You did an AMAZING JOB!”
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