About 200 participants turned out for the annual Walk for ALS in Parksville Sunday, June 4, 2017. The event had raised more than $55,000 by Thursday, June 8. — J.R. Rardon photo

Parksville ALS walk makes big impact

About 200 participants collect more than $55,000 in annual benefit

Sunny skies and plenty of enthusiasm were the order of the day Sunday when the North-Central Island chapter of the ALS Society of B.C. hosted its annual Walk for ALS at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre.

About 200 people took part in the 13th annual event, a circuitous loop of city streets that began and ended at the community centre.

The event was held to raise money in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neuromuscular disease for which there is no cure.

“There are 390 people in Canada with ALS; 30 on the Island right now,” said Sheldon Cleaves, the North Central Island chapter president for the ALS Society of B.C. “So it’s quite a going concern as far as trying to get the research dollars and find a cure.”

By the time the walk started, the event had already raised more than $31,000, said Cleaves, and that number had grown to $55,583 by Thursday afternoon — 91 per cent of the $60,500 goal. The bulk of that funding was raised by ALS victim Murray Chantler and his Murray’s Marvelous Marchers team, said Cleaves.

To aid in the fundraising, the walk included a hot dog barbecue, a raffle prize table and a bag auction, along with music.

Donations may still be made at the Mid-Island-Parksville Walk for ALS website.

— NEWS Staff