2018 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy - 2018 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

Grande Prairie Walk for Muscular Dystrophy


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Grande Prairie Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

  Date:Saturday, September 22, 2018
  Location:Muskoseepi Park (Reservoir Loop)
102 St & 102 Ave
Grande Prairie, AB 
T8V 1C1
   (Map)  
  Time:12:00 - 4:00PM
  
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Meet Grand Prairie Walk Ambassador, Charlotte Macfarlane

 

1. How and why did you become involved in the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy? 

I started my journey with Muscular Dystrophy Canada as a Firefighter. Fire departments have supported muscular dystrophy since the 1950's, and at first I became involved in my local fire department's fundraiser boot drives. After a few years of getting to know the charity and those we were helping, I joined Muscular Dystrophy Canada as a Firefighter Advisor, and continued working with my fire department and others to do fundraisers. It was at the Muscular Dystrophy Firefighter conference that I began learning more about the Walk and made some connections to be involved in the chapter in Grande Prairie. I was invited to the Grande Prairie Chapter's Annual meeting in 2017, and was excited to be welcomed into the walk. Our fire department, the Central Peace Fire Rescue, created a team and fundraised for the walk. My co-advisor Brice Daly, and a retired firefighter Dolan Issac, joined me at the 2017 walk and helped in any way we could, including taking part in the walk in our gear.  

2. Have you taken part in any other Muscular Dystrophy Canada events?  

I've worked with our local fire department, CPFR, and previously with the Spirit River Fire Department, to do boot drives as well as canvas local businesses to be involved in the Buck for Luck campaign. 

3. How do you feel the Walk event will benefit your family and your community? 

The more local awareness the walk can generate the further that awareness will spread. My family locally is not affected by Muscular Dystrophy, but two of my nephews in Quebec are living with Duchenne's. My goal would be to help grow the cause and the awareness so that it seeps into their community, and benefit my own community here.  

4. What is the most important thing you would want people to know about the Walk? 

 It’s full of the most amazing people you'll ever meet, and you really want to meet them. The unity that I saw at the last walk was incredibly moving. The walk showed me that there were so many people in the Peace country that were affected by Muscular Dystrophy. But, there were an infinite amount more people who loved those affected. The strength and unity of those people, who band around their friend or family member, would draw anyone in. You want to be a part of this; you want to be a part of that family. 

5. Do you have a favorite memory from past walks? If so, what is it?
  
I've only been able to be involved in one walk so far, but I can't forget how welcoming everyone was. I walked up to the registration table and asked if I could set up my bunker gear for the kids to look at, and it wasn't anything I'd cleared with the chapter beforehand. But they were very happy to have me and my dirty boots and welcomed my help at the registration table without question.   

6. What is your preferred way to fundraise?  Reaching out to friends and family? Bottle drives? Other?
 
The Boot Drive has always been my favorite way to fundraise for Muscular Dystrophy and would be for any other cause. It doesn't take much setup, and you just have to have the gumption to be able to hold the boot up and ask for a donation, I can tell you there aren't many people out there that say no. 

7. How do you help spread awareness for the walk? Social media? Word of mouth?  

Last year the CPFR, supported the use of their Facebook to raise awareness for the 2017 walk. From there we created a video challenge to other fire departments in the Peace Country, challenging them to create teams to fundraise and do the walk with us. I fully believe social media is the most underutilized free marketing tool. 

8. What do you look forward to doing/seeing at the Walk every year?  

I look forward to meeting the people the fundraising supports. And I look forward to seeing the people I've met before, and to catch up. These people become a part of your extended family, and you honestly care how they've been and what has been happening in their lives.  

9. What tips would you give to a first-time participant? 
 
Don't worry about how much you raise, even if you come with $20 that’s more than not coming at all. And your involvement may spark others to become involved because they saw you post a selfie at the walk on social media, or you talked about it with excitement to your co-workers at a coffee break. Everything you do has a butterfly affect, so you never know how a small action can make a big change.  

10. Have you tried getting your school / work place involved in the walk? 

Yes, I have great co-workers across Alberta and after I sent an email out I got $700 worth of donations. 

11. What will be you walk team name for this year? And who do you plan on walking with? Family, Friends, Pets, Caregivers?  

My Team will again be the Central Peace Fire Rescue, it's important to me to perpetuate the involvement of Fire Departments with Muscular Dystrophy, and help bridge the connection between the two.  

12. If you could describe the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy in a word or sentence, what would that be?

Moving.


 

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