Thousands showed up around the country Sunday in support of their loved ones living with MND and to commemorate those they have lost.
All around the New Zealand adults, children and dogs dressed up in blue and white outfits, face paint and fundraised to continue nationwide support and advocacy for people living with MND and their carers.
Whangarei organiser David Seymour says, “It was fairly emotional really. To have 400-500 people showing up to raise money which directly affects you is powerful.”
Good weather graced the Sunday walks and funds are still coming in, a tally will be completed next month. MND New Zealand Fundraising Manager Kate Dalders says, “These events are not just about the incredible amount of funds that are being raised for research and support, but also about generating a greater awareness and seeing the impact of so many in the MND community coming together to show that we are united.”
Phoenix Football Captain Andrew Durante and Striker David Williams along with Mascot ‘Nixie’ stirred up some excitement on the Wellington walk taking some snap shots with local fans.
Each walk offered some entertainment, an auction or raffle and chance to purchase some goodies on the day.
Kate says, “A big thank you to all the companies and individuals who got behind their local walks by offering sponsorship, gifting services and providing auction/raffle prizes. The on the day activities really bring the events to life.”
Christchurch organiser Bronwyn Simons says, “A highlight for me this year has been seeing more teams dressed up in support of someone. We had incredible raffle prizes, and generous donations. Christchurch firemen in full gear started our walk and I am so thankful to all the volunteers with their dedication and passion, which has made this such a special day,” she says.
Auckland organisers Brittany McNeil and Steve O’Conner were blown away by how many people attended, “Everyone was very happy, there were people who were remembering loved ones who have past but the vibe was upbeat,” says Steve. “We definitely plan to grow the event for next year to continue to raise awareness and show how many people it affects, how it affects them and what they can do to help,” he says.
MND New Zealand GM Carl Sunderland attended the Whangarei walk this year and said, “The 18 Walks 2 D’Feet MND could not happen without our huge team of dedicated volunteers all over New Zealand who organise and run the events. MND New Zealand are extremely grateful their hours and hours of hard work to ensure each walk is a success. Thank you all MND volunteers.”
For more photos of the event please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mndanz/