SHELBURNE—Winter will end and spring will bloom, and with it will arrive the 17th Annual Shelburne Falls Great Strides walkathon, which is raising funds toward a cure for the debilitating disease cystic fibrosis.
Walk day, which leaves from BSE, is a fun, family-oriented event with a healthy 2.5-kilometer walk, children’s activities, food, and festivities that participants look forward to year after year.
Participants can form walk teams at their workplace, through their clubs and organizations, and with friends and family.
The event is Sunday, May 22. Check in is at 1 p.m., and the walk starts at 2 at BSE. The route will traverse the Bridge of Flowers.
According to Great Strides’ Massachusetts/Rhode Island chapter, the event is part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event. Locally, the walk is in honor of BSE alumna Audrey Clark.
Clark notes on Great Strides’ “Audrey’s Angels” page that she is fighting for her life against CF, which affects 70,000 people worldwide, including 30,000 Americans. CF is an inherited disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.
“Cystic fibrosis has caused me to need two double lung transplants, the first of which when I was 12. I am 21 now. I have rejected them both and need to wear oxygen to breathe. Only due to the money raised toward research could this have happened and given me this much extra life. Please donate so others don’t need to endure the hardships that I have,” she says.
Clark adds that she plans to walk the route. You can raise funds as a walker or “virtual walker” by visiting Great Strides.
Clark’s mother, Sandra Gaffey, is the bookkeeper at Mohawk. Each year, she says, more than 125,000 people participate in hundreds of walks across the country to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research and drug development.
For more information, call Sandra Gaffey at 413-625-0227 or call the CF Foundation at 800-966-0444.