The 2017 San Luis Obispo Walk to Defeat ALS was a fantastic start to the Walk to Defeat ALS season

San Luis Obispo, CA - April 29, 2017

The 6th annual San Luis Obispo Walk to Defeat ALS was a beautiful day filled with hope, inspiration and action needed to conquer Lou Gehrig's Disease. Held at our new location of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, an estimated 300 Walkers exceeded this year’s goal and raised over $70,000 in support of the ALS community.

The morning started off with a wonderful presentation full of encouragement and optimism for the participants. Heartfelt words of thanks were shared by Stacy Inman, Advisory Trustee of the Golden West Chapter, and the Team Captain of longtime Kern County Walk to Defeat ALS top teams, Mike’s Miracles! Then Golden West Chapter VP of Program Services Pamela Jacobson shared her experiences in working with people with ALS and their families.

“Your efforts through the Walk to Defeat ALS are advancing the search for new treatments and a cure,” said Asher Garfinkel, Vice President of Community Outreach.

  SLO Ribbon Cutting
  Heartfelt moment with Devin Ward and Mara Ziehn at  the start line

“These successes include a phase 3 clinical trial by Cytokinetics and over 150 research projects around the world. The funds have also helped our growth in care services and has led to the hiring of additional Care Service Managers, more support for Certified Centers of Excellence and multidisciplinary ALS clinics, and the addition of more support groups. All of which provide people with ALS and their families with increased access and resources. “

This year, our top fundraising Walk team – Devin’s Defeater’s,–  who each had raised over $30,000  by Walk day. Devin inspired the crowd with his moving words about living with ALS.  Diagnosed at 2 years ago in 2015, Devin was an elementary school teacher with a passion for travel, he spent a few years in Japan teaching English to children, until his arrival on the Central Coast. Devin shared his extraordinary gratitude for life and for the support of everyone in the community. Devin not only led the force of Devin’s Defeaters fundraising success, but was also the heart of the huge circle of friends and family who came out to the San Luis Obispo Walk to support him and the ALS Community -- some of whom traveled far for the event.

Community Outreach Assistant, Gillian Wallengren led the walkers in a warm up and then Devin Ward, and our other top fundraisers cut the ribbon and led the walk through scenic Cal Poly Campus. 

This year’s San Luis Obispo Walk had 11 returning teams and six new teams, with people traveling from across the country and even from Germany to show their support of the ALS community. The Golden West Chapter appreciates all our teams and walkers for their continued enthusiasm and support of our mission.  The success of our events like the San Luis Obispo Walk to Defeat ALS is only made possible by the hard work and dedication of the volunteers and Walkers and we thank you!

More Walk Day photos will be coming soon on Flickr.

SLO Group Photo
2017 San Luis Obispo Walk to Defeat ALS Group photo