This year’s Chicago Walk to Defeat ALS set for Wheaton’s Cantigny Park

ALS Association fundraiser on June 3 strides toward $550K goal

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by Mary Chapman |

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A person is seen walking, holding a water bottle in one hand.

On June 3, the Greater Chicago Chapter of the ALS Association will host its 2023 Chicago Walk to Defeat ALS fundraiser, with an aim of supporting patients and families living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The 1.5-mile event will again take place at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois. Funds raised through the Sunflower Field of Dreams-themed walk — the sunflower is the chapter’s official symbol — will support vital services provided to the ALS community in the greater Chicago area.

Specifically, monies will go to caregiver education, support groups, an equipment lending program, ALS multidisciplinary clinics, and more. So far, more than $263,000 has been raised toward this year’s goal of $550,000.

“The Chicago Walk to Defeat ALS is more than just a walk; it’s a powerful community event that brings hope and raises funds to combat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease,” the nonprofit stated in a press release.

“By participating in the Walk, you are making a significant impact on the lives of individuals and families facing this devastating neurodegenerative disease,” the organization said.

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Participants may register for the event online or by contacting the organization at 312-932-0000. Walkers may join a team or go solo. Check-in for the free family-friendly event — aimed at patients and supporters of all ages — opens at 8 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m.

In addition to supporting the ALS Association’s Greater Chicago Chapter, the nonprofit’s signature fundraiser offers an opportunity to come together with friends, family members, colleagues, and others to support the ALS community. The event also seeks to heighten ALS awareness.

“This year, we invite you to step into a Sunflower Field of Dreams as we come together to support those affected by ALS,” the organization stated.

While there is no fundraising minimum, those who raise at least $90 for the ALS Association will receive an exclusive event T-shirt. Those raising more than $300 also will earn a long-sleeved shirt with the organization’s theme logo.

This year, we invite you to step into a Sunflower Field of Dreams as we come together to support those affected by ALS.

An hourlong webinar about the event is available, and the chapter will provide pledge sheets, social media tools, and other resources. Those who are unable to make the June 3 event are encouraged to participate in a chapter “Mini-Walk” — which can be done anywhere, at any time, and for any distance.

“As we gather in the Sunflower Field of Dreams, we celebrate the vibrant symbol of the sunflower, which embodies strength, resilience, and hope – qualities that mirror the spirit of our ALS community,” the organization notes. “Inspired by the legacy of Lou Gehrig, who courageously faced ALS in 1939, the Sunflower Field of Dreams represents our collective dream of a world without ALS.”

For more information, send an email to [email protected].