Special Events Stories & Photos

The 7th Annual Georgia Fun Walk and the 6th Annual New York Fun Walk
October 2010

Head Start on Awareness Month with October Fun Walks

Team Sullivan at New York Fun WalkTeam Sullivan takes part in the 2010 New York
Fun Walk.
PH patients Sally Maddox and Joanne Sperando-Schmidt recently held their respective long-standing events, the 7th Annual Georgia Fun Walk and 6th Annual New York Fun Walk — helping to set the tempo for November’s Awareness Month fun walks.

Fall is definitely fun walk season at PHA! Fun walks are one of PHA’s “signature” special events and no two people have more experience planning fun walks than Sally and Joanne. 

Sally, a PH patient, Board member and Support Group Leader, hosted her seventh fun walk on October 2 in Marietta, Ga. With the help of her family, friends and support group members, the event had a great turnout in 2010 with more PH patients in attendance than ever before. With the goal of involving as many people as possible to raise money for PHA-supported research and patient services, the walk continues to grow year after year.

Joanne, also a PH patient and Support Group Leader, and former Board member, hosted her sixth fun walk along with co-chair Mary Bartlett on October 2 in East Meadow, N.Y. Joanne and Mary had tremendous support from family and friends along the way. With the involvement of the local community, 475 people participated in the Long Island Support Group sponsored event and 16 walk teams were formed! For Joanne, that’s what the New York Fun Walk is all about — bringing a community together to find a cure. Every year the goal is to “provide an event that fosters fellowship and community."

Both planners believe fun walks are the way to go when it comes to hosting a manageable, yet successful family-friendly fundraiser. Joanne says, “It is the least expensive way to raise funds and attracts the largest number of people…a walk really has no limit to its size.” Sally echoes these sentiments by saying, “A fun walk is easy to do and it is easy to keep going each year."

It’s no surprise then that fun walks continue to be the most popular fundraising event to host for PHA special event planners! Five walks are scheduled for the month of November in Florida, Maryland, New Mexico and Texas. And while they all fall under the same fun walk umbrella, each event is unique. Whether it’s holding a raffle or silent auction, offering prizes and giveaways or including a picnic lunch, hosting a fun walk can include much more than just the walk itself.

While everyone may not have the time, energy, or availability to host a fun walk, simply attending one is a great place to start! Visit PHA’s Special Events calendar for more information on the upcoming fun walks and all other Awareness Month Events!


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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.