The 11th annual Trek for Tourette is coming to Muskoka, allowing residents to participate in a 5 kilometre charity walk to support Tourette Canada in its annual fundraising drive on March 24.
The Muskoka Trek for Tourette event will start at the Gravenhurst Centennial Centre in the Terry Fox Room at noon. The Trek itself will start at 1 p.m. and go through downtown Gravenhurst on a 5 kilometre route. Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes involuntary movement and vocalizations. It affects as many as one in 100 Canadian children and adults and currently has no cure. Tourette Canada uses the fundraiser to support its ongoing work to educate, promote awareness and provide a support to families affected by TS.
“With more than 1 in 50 kids being diagnosed with TS and/or one of its associated disorders like OCD and ADHD—not to mention other conditions like anxiety and rage disorders – it’s time we as a nation recognize that neurodevelopmental disorders are mainstream and growing rapidly in the frequency of their diagnosis”, said Janet Rumsey, the Tourette Canada’s National President and mother to four boys with TS.
Last year’s event in Muskoka included 50 walkers and raised over $3,000. Shawn Forth, the event organizer and Muskoka TS Resource Unit leader, said he’s hoping for 50-60 “trekkers” this year and hopes they’re able to match or better last year’s fundraising total. He also said the event will happen regardless of rain, shine, snow or sleet.
“The month of March was chosen for the Trek because the weather’s unpredictable just like Tourette,” Forth said. “The green rain boot in the Trek’s logo reflect the unpredictability of the weather that Trekkers could be walking in.”
The Trek for Tourette is an event that happens across Canada. This year, communities in Ontario, Newfoundland, Labrador, Alberta and British Columbia will participate. The overall event raised $91,000 last year and the fundraising goal for this year is $100,000.
Locals that are interested in trekking can register online. Pledges can be made online and a manual pledge form is available for download from the site. For more information on the Muskoka Trek for Tourette, visit the Muskoka unit of Tourette Canada on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.