JAY — The third annual Hope With Every Step event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Spruce Mountain High School North Campus, 33 Community Drive. The Brochu and Parker families and friends are hosting this year’s event in honor of Josh and Brooke Brochu and Emmy Rowles, three local children diagnosed with Ataxia Teleangiectasia (A-T).
Opening the daylong event will be a 5K timed race and an untimed 23-mile bike ride. Registration for the 5K and bike ride will begin at 7:30 a.m. Medals and prizes will be awarded to the top 5K finishers, including a $100 gift card and a digital camera.
The Family Fun Day portion of the event will kickoff at 10:30. Several bounce houses, a gigantic inflatable obstacle course, barrel train rides, face painting and a touch-a-truck tractor-trailer are a few activities for kids. Bracelets for unlimited use of the bounce houses will be available for $5 a person.
The two-mile family walk will begin at 11 a.m. on the paved track. Attendees are welcome to wear their favorite costume. The day will be emceed by local improv comedy group, Teachers Lounge Mafia. There will be a musical performance by Drew Masse.
The food tent will include an assortment, including Jeff Beard with his Memphis-style pulled pork plate.
The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive in honor of Brooke Brochu. A-T has affected her immune system and she receives weekly blood product treatments to support her immune system. Call the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment.
The goal of Hope With Every Step is to raise awareness and funds for A-T, a neuro-degenerative disease that attacks the cerebellum, which handles the motor control of our bodies, combines the worst symptoms of muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, immune deficiencies and cancer. It is extremely rare: there are only about 600 confirmed cases in the Unites States.
Proceeds from the event will go directly to the A-T Children’s Project, a group that raises awareness and funding for research and clinical trials that benefit all children with A-T.
Each year that passes the symptoms of A-T are more apparent in Josh, Brooke and Emmy. Recent breakthroughs in A-T research have given the Brochu and Parker families renewed hope that doctors will find treatments and a cure.
For more information on the day, to preregister, create a free online fundraising page or make a donation, visit www.atcp.org/HopeStepMaine.
In the event that it rains on Saturday, activities will move inside the high school gym and cafeteria. For updates about the fundraiser, visit www.facebook.com/ATmaine. Teams are welcome. The top individual fundraiser will win a 42-inch LCD HDTV.