On Saturday, July 23, Twinsburg residents, businesses and city officials will participate in the third annual Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease.
The two-mile walk, which begins at Dodge Intermediate School in Twinsburg, will help raise money from participants and sponsors to go toward providing services for families dealing with Huntington’s disease.
Huntington's is a genetic neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to mental decline. Proceeds will also help fund Huntington’s research.
Last year, more than 200 people participated in the walk, which raised about $18,000, said Barbara Kaiser, development director for the Northeast Ohio chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.
In the past, the walk was held at the Akron Zoo, but moved to Twinsburg two years ago.
“The city of Twinsburg has been wonderful to work with,” Kaiser said. “The city cleans up and the mayor (Katherine Procop) presides over the opening ceremony.
“Because the mayor endorses it, Saturday will be Huntington’s Disease Awareness Day,” Kaiser said. “A lot of local businesses donate things for the raffle. The businesses are very generous. These are community-minded businesses,” she said.
Subway, Romeo’s Pizza, and Starbucks will provide food and drinks for the event. CVS Pharmacy and Discount Drug Mart are providing ice and bottled water and Walgreens provides merchandise. “It is truly a community event,” Kaiser said.
Locally, the walk is sponsored by Crossroads Hospice, a care center. Nationally, the walk takes place in more than 70 cities. Lundbeck, a pharmaceuticals company, is one of the national sponsors. Lundbeck manufactures a product that suppresses the shaking associated with Huntington’s disease.
“We also have people that set up fundraising pages and raise a lot online,” Kaiser said. “Proceeds are directed locally toward our family service organizations — being support groups and social programs.”
To participate in the Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease, residents can sign up online at www.firstgiving.com/hdsa-oh-ne, or register at the event. Signing up costs $20 for adults, $10 for children 17 years old or younger, and includes a morning snack, a T-shirt and lunch.
“(Huntington’s disease) is a rare, inherited disease. A lot of people haven’t heard about it,” Kaiser said. “The walk is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness, provide services for families and fund research.”