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Starting the 2017 Walk to Defeat ALS season strong at the 4th Annual Santa Rosa Walk to Defeat ALS

04/29/2017- Santa Rosa, CA

The 4th annual Santa Rosa Walk to Defeat ALS was a beautiful day filled with hope, inspiration and action needed to conquer Lou Gehrig's Disease. Held at Howarth Park in Santa Rosa, an estimated 425 Walkers exceeded this year’s goal and raised over $100,000 support of the ALS community.

The morning started off with a wonderful presentation of hope, encouragement and inspiration for the participants. Heartfelt words of thanks were shared by Sue Morris, Chair of the Golden West Chapter Board of Directors, then Daniel Potapshyn, Golden West Chapter Care Manager shared his experiences in working with people with ALS and their families while thanking the crowd for coming out. Daniel shared a moment with Ryan Farnsworth as he read one of his inspirational poems he wrote. Robert Blum, President & CEO of Cytokinetics spoke about the advances in research. This year’s Walk Hero, Katrina McDarment spoke about her diagnosis of the Familial gene and how it affected her family with Dr. Lynda Lam of the Kaiser Permanente ALS Clinic in San Rafael speaking about the genetics of ALS.  Fred Fisher, President & CEO of The ALS Association Golden West Chapter gave an inspirational speech about being involved, creating awareness, fundraising and how the money raised by this community inspired him. Each guest speaker provided meaningful insight into the care and work being done for the ALS community in Santa Rosa.  We want to thank our National and Local Sponsors for supporting the event again this year.  Our National Sponsors, Quantum Rehab, MT Pharma America, Phi Delta Theta and our Local Sponsors, Cytokinetics, Permobil, NuMotion, Kaiser Permanente, Accessible Mobility Center, CHME - California Home Medical Equipment, and At Home Nursing.

This year, top three Walk teams, with two that raised over $20,000 – Team Chris, $31,965, Team Watson, raised over $24,620, and Thriving to Defeat ALS raised $6,800.  There were four teams that exceeded for the Top Team Challenge and raised over $2,500; Team Reeves, $6,335, Team (S) Miles, $3,710, Potapshyn Posse, $3,300 and Team Ryan, $2,523. So they were all celebrated and shared the title of “The Top Fundraising Team.”  This year we were treated with a wonderful lunch supplied by Chick Fil A of Santa Rosa.  

Susan Korcz, Regional Director of Community Outreach asked each of the team captains to come to the stage, introduce themselves and their teams and cheered when their name was called. Then the team captains were asked to stay and help with the warm up dance as each team danced to Cupid Shuffle. Fred Fisher, Robert Blum, Katrina McDarment, Sue Morris, Dr. Lynda Lam, and our top team Team Chris and Team Watson cut the ribbon and led the walk through scenic Howarth Park trail. 

This year’s Santa Rosa Walk had 22 teams represented, with people traveling from across California and even from Germany and Ireland 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 Santa Rosa Walk to Defeat ALS is only made possible by the hard work and dedication of the volunteers and Walkers and we thank you!

See our event day photos here and enjoy our warm up dance with our fabuous team captains below!