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Walk for Lupus Now breaks past records

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Health & Wellness

Published on September 21, 2011 with No Comments

Joining the largest crowd in the history of Walk for Lupus Now Northwest Indiana, 1,000 walkers gathered at the Lake County Fairgrounds on Sept.10 to raise a record-breaking $77,000 to support the Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter (LFA). The 2010 walk raised $50,000 with 750 walkers to support chapter programs and activities. In 2009, the Chapter raised $35,000 with 500 walkers.

Proceeds from the annual walk will be used increase lupus awareness and education, maintain support groups and support lupus research. Seventy-one teams participated in the event this year. Fifty teams participated in the 2010 event. Nearly 100 lupus patients participated in this year’s event. Fifty patients registered for the walk last year.

As guests of honor, lupus patients received a special T-shirt and gift bag. “We really increased awareness of our walk,” said Hurst.

“The newspapers ran ads for us and printed articles promoting the walk. This increased marketing exposure helped us reach lupus patients and educate the public about lupus.”

For the second year in a row, the top fund-raising team was “Team Matthews.” Walking in honor of Crown Point High School student, Zoie Matthews, and in memory of her mother, Heather Matthews, the team was largest in the event.

The team set the team record by raising more than $14,000; they raised $10,000 last year. More than 1,250 donors contributed to the success of the 2011 event; 806 donors contributed last year. Donations are still being accepted online at www.lupuswalknwi.kintera.org.

Checks can be mailed to the Chapter office at P.O. Box 68467, Indianapolis, IN 46268.

“Moving the walk to the Lake County Fairgrounds was one of the best things we did in our planning this year,” said co-chair Susan Colby. “Many of our walkers told us how much they enjoyed the new location. They raved about the pavilion shelter, the paved walking paths and the beauty of the Lake County Fairgrounds.”

“We had such an amazing committee this year,” said Hurst. “With the exception of our office staff processing donations, Walk for Lupus Now was completely organized and implemented by volunteers. Each person on the committee has a personal connection to lupus, whether they are a lupus patient or have a friend or family member with lupus.

“The committee’s passion to support lupus patients and find a cure made this event such an amazing success.” A vendor show, silent auction and live entertainment were included in the festivities.

The silent auction raised $1600; last year it raised $800. Next Generation DJ’s provided musical entertainment and provided master of ceremony services. Hobart High School’s Wolfgang performing throughout the registration hour and sang the National Anthem. Jo Jo the Clown painted faces to raise funds for the foundation.

The Winfield Brownies and Jerry Ross Girl Scouts lead the Pledge of Allegiance. For more information about the Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter, call 800-948-8806.

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