The 21st Annual American Diabetes Association’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes fundraising campaign is in full swing, and a number of activities have been planned leading up to the main Step Out 5K walk and run, including a kick-off celebration and an outdoor kayaking race.
Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes is the ADA’s fall signature campaign and is being chaired by Savannah Fire Chief Charles G. Middleton.
“I hope to use this opportunity as chairman of the campaign to highlight the ubiquity and invisibility of this disease,” Middleton said. “We have strong, fit firefighters who are living with diabetes. You can’t tell by looking at these folks that they may have a serious, chronic disease. Even heroes can suffer from diabetes. Diabetes does not discriminate based on your age, race, gender or socioeconomic situation. It affects everyone and we should all band together to fight and stop diabetes.”
Step Out campaign kick-off celebration
The kick-off celebration will be Thursday, Aug. 15 at Tubby’s Tank House in Thunderbolt. The event will feature a dunk tank, where attendees will have a chance to dunk some of Savannah’s firefighters. Participants can also expect light hors d’oeuvres and entertainment. Kick-off attendees will learn how to form a walk or run team for the campaign and get tips on fundraising.
Kayak for a Kure
Another fundraiser leading up to the 5k Walk & Run is the sixth annual Hugh H. Armstrong Sr. Memorial Kayak for a Kure, presented by PIER Commercial. It will be Saturday, Aug. 24, at Butterbean Beach.
Kayakers of all skill levels are encouraged to participate in the paddle, which will start at 9 a.m. The 3-mile course runs to the UGA Marine Extension Service Aquarium.
The cost is $50 per kayaker and includes entry fee, goodie bag, barbecue lunch and live music.
Step Out 5k Walk & Run
The main event will be Saturday, Oct. 19, at Skidaway Island State Park. In addition to the existing 5K walk, the event also will feature a 5K run managed by the team at Fleet Feet Sports.
The route will wind through nature trails and along the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Step Out event will feature a large health-and-fitness festival with free blood-glucose and blood-pressure screenings, fitness information, professional on-site advice about medications and free literature on a variety of health topics.
Walkers can enjoy a light breakfast, live music and children’s activities provided by Skidaway Island State Park. All funds raised will benefit the American Diabetes Association.
“Diabetes affects nearly 30,000 people locally, which is why it is so important to get the word out about this disease and about our campaign. Money raised at Step Out events helps fund research and local community outreach activities,” Middleton said.
Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death by disease in the United States. Statistics show one in three Americans and one in two minorities will develop diabetes in their lifetime. The American Diabetes Association encourages people to learn more about diabetes and the devastating complications that can result from unmanaged diabetes, including blindness, lower-limb amputation, end-stage renal failure, cardiovascular disease and death. Diabetes is a serious disease and should not be ignored. With proper treatment and management, diabetes can be controlled.
For more information, go to www.diabetes.org/savannahstepout or www.facebook.com/adasavannah or contact Suzanne Willis, Step Out walk coordinator, at 912-353-8110, ext. 3093, or firstname.lastname@example.org.