Orangeville’s Walk to End ALS set for virtual format this year

June 12, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

It is somewhat ironic that an annual walk in support of those who can no longer walk, won’t be able to take place this year, at least in the usual group event.

However, the ALS Society of Canada is still going ahead with the Walk to End ALS. It will just be completed a little differently this year.

The annual event is the main fundraiser for the Society with walks taking place at around 100 locations across the country. There are 30 walks held in Ontario.

The Orangeville walk is usually held along the trails at the Island Lake Conservation Area.

In 2019, the Walk raised a collective $4 million across the country. In Ontario alone, over 4,000 people participated raising almost $2 million.

“ALS doesn’t stop because there is a pandemic,” said Laurie Laxer, Regional Manager Centre West and Mississauga / Halton, ALS Society of Canada.

The ALS Society assists those living with ALS by providing community based support as well as needed medical equipment like wheelchairs and hospital beds. Funds raised also go toward ALS research. The Society receives no government funding.

This year the Walk will take place in a virtual format.

“This year, the Walk to End ALS is transitioning into an on-line experience,” Ms. Laxer explained. “People can still register for the Walk in their community and the event day celebration will be both local and united with the broader on-line community. The Walk is more than a fundraiser – it builds community and connects people demonstrating that we are all part of something bigger.”

This year people can take part by creating an submitting their own walking videos and visiting on-line.

“It’s very encouraging to see people coming back,” Ms. Laxer said. “People are coming up with some very fun things with different videos on-line. People send videos of them doing the walk in their own unique ways. Some people are walking around the cottage. Others are just taking a walk around the neighbourhood. ALS doesn’t stop and neither will we. To help people affected by ALS during the COVID-19 crisis we have mad timely and effective changes to our programs so we can continue to provide vital community-based support services at a distance.”

ALS is a terminal disease with no known cause or cure. The disease progressively paralyzes people leaving them unable to walk, talk, swallow, eat, and eventually breath.

Researchers have not been able to determine why it starts. It effects all age groups.

This unique virtual event unites Canadians in their desire to put an end to ALS and celebrates hope for a future without it. It also honours those who have been lost to the disease.

You can take part in the virtual Walk to End ALS by visiting the Society’s website at

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