Carli Berry/Capital News Zoe Wiens, five, dons her rain jacket for the annual Parkinson Super Walk in Waterfront Park Saturday.

SuperWalk brings awareness despite the rain

Around 250 people gathered for the annual Parkinson SuperWalk in Kelowna

Despite the rainy weather, hundreds gathered for the annual Parkinson SuperWalk last weekend.

The Kelowna community participated in a SuperWalk Saturday to raise money for research and bring awareness to the neurological disease.

Around 250 people gathered their rain jackets and headed to Waterfront Park to show their support.

Diana Dors walked with her father Rolf Baumann, who’s had Parkinson’s for the last 27 years.

“While he still can walk, we want to come out and support the cause… its affected our family greatly,” said Dors.

It’s also an opportunity for Baumann to connect with other members of the Parkinson Society, she said.

Garry Toop is a member of the committee who organized the event, and has Parkinson’s, which he said is the second most common neurological disease next to Alzheimer’s.

He said the walk has been going since 2011 and is the largest event for the Parkinson’s community in B.C.

Last year, the event in Kelowna raised almost $60,000 and although the final numbers aren’t in, Toop said the amount has surpassed his goal.

This year’s walk raised $67,251.28.

The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team was also in attendance and helped set up the event.

Head coach Steve Manuel said the team participates every year, and helps direct the walk, giving participants high-fives along the way.

“For us, it’s just part of what we do,” he said. “I believe we’re a very privileged group, we get to compete in the sport that we love and there’s a lot of hard work that goes into it, but it’s important to give back and be seen as a good community citizen.”

Find out more about the SuperWalk online.