Sprint Into Summer in Pierson, Manitoba took place on June 6th, 2015. It was beautiful weather and they had a great crowd with energy that couldn’t be beat. Registration came first, and then the kick-off with a couple of speakers, including Bert Blackbird who made a surprise appearance, and the K-6 Choir who sang a few numbers. Sprint Into Summer is a family event with walking and running options for all ages and abilities. A few participants are suffering from HD and participate in their wheelchairs, as well as young children who participate in strollers. There was also a barbeque dinner, prizes, and a band to play at the dance that took place after the walk.
It was truly a day for family and friends to gather and raise money and awareness for HD, with around 180 people from this small town coming out to the event. Organizers, Terri Alphonso and Cindy Horrigan shared that an overwhelming amount of people in Pierson have a connection to the challenges of Huntington disease, “With so many being affected, or being close to a family that is affected, it’s easy to feel like there is nothing you can do to help. This event gives the community an opportunity to make a difference”. Everyone seemed to get involved with volunteering for the event! Whether it was individuals bringing a salad, the grocery store donating food, or the fire department barbequing the food, the whole town rallied together around the cause.
The event has evolved over the last three years. Last year, the organizers took advantage of both floors of their venue but found they lost some energy from the guests, “Everyone being all together this year made a huge difference in the vibe of the evening. Everyone had fun”. Their advice is to understand that you can’t please everyone- all you can do is put on a fun event and raise money for the cause.
Although Pierson and the surrounding community is going through a challenging time with the downturn in the oil industry and recent flooding, the generous participants helped raise $12,000 and climbing. Organizers again, attribute this to the strong connection the community holds with HD. This small, community-oriented place is responsible for another successful event- making a difference in the lives of people with HD.
To see photos from the event, click here.