By Jason Lockhart
There might have been a finish line, but in this race, there are only winners.
Saturday afternoon saw over 5,000 people partake in the sixth annual "Walk to De-Feet ALS." The event would not have been the same without Sparky, the Ice Girls and the FireDancers who were at the event welcoming everyone and at the finish line cheering on the walkers.
"It was incredible having Sparky, the Ice Girls and FireDancers there," said Jennifer Lowy, the Director of Marketing and Special Events for the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. "We loved having them at the finish line cheering. It kept the day uplifting and people's sprits up."
This was the sixth annual walk to defeat ALS on Long Island and the largest among the 150 ALS walks held throughout the country. ALS, also know as Lou Gehrig's disease is 100% fatal and most people after they're diagnosed only live two to five years.
"All the money that we raise today goes to patient care and research," said Lowy. "We provide services for ALS patients and ultimately hope to find a cure."
The first walk held on Long Island, in 2001, raised nearly $150,000, but the past two years, not including this year's walk raised $700,000 and they expect to raise even more this year.
The walk weaved 3.1 miles around Eisenhower Park and ended where it began in Lot 4. That's where Sparky, the Ice Girls and FireDancers were located, slapping five, waving and giving all in attendance a reason to smile; because on this day everyone was a winner.