By Korie Marshall

Valemount’s first Walk for ALS is coming up in June, starting and ending at Centennial Park, followed by a barbeque and fun activities at the Valemount Pines Golf Course.

Sherry Tinsley, the local walk coordinator, says after long-time local resident Marilyn Anthony was diagnosed with ALS last spring, friends and family got together and wanted to do something. They thought about running a satellite walk for another community’s fundraising efforts for helping ALS patients and doing research.

“But then we said, ‘Why don’t we do our own?’” says Tinsley.

Often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. June is ALS month, and the walk in Valemount to raise funds for patient services and ALS research is set for June 7. Tinsley says it will be exactly six kilometers long, following part of the Bigfoot Trail, then heading down Ash Street towards 13th Avenue, around to 17th, and finally back to Centennial Park. The course will be accessible for all walking abilities, but people are also encouraged to support the barbeque at the golf course after as well, especially anyone who doesn’t feel up to the walk.

Registration will start at 10 am, with the walk starting at 11, and festivities set to start at the Valemount Pines at 1 pm. The barbeque will be $10, with half going to the ALS walk, and they hope to have face painting, balloon animal making, and other family-friendly events, including chip and put contests and raffles. Tinsley says it is fitting to hold some of the event the golf course, because Anthony has worked there for a long time. Anthony is currently living in Surrey with her daughter, but hopes to be able to come to Valemount for the walk.

Find out more about the Walk on ALS Society of BC’s website or contact Sherry Tinsley at 250-566-9178, or email valemountwalk@alsbc.ca.