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Walkathon Stepping Off For Bridgeport's Sickle Cell Disease Association

Some participants in a previous SCDAA Walkathon.
Some participants in a previous SCDAA Walkathon. Photo Credit: contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Southern Connecticut is inviting the public to join in its Silver Anniversary Walkathon on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The 5-mile walk and run will be held at the College Woods section of East Rock Park located at 41 Cold Springs St. in New Haven at 8 a.m. This year’s theme is “Walking and Building A Gateway To A Cure.”

Participants are encouraged to register in advance by calling the SCDAA office at 203-909-6737 or 203-385-2253 or online at scdaasouthernct@sbcglobal.net.

On-site registration for the walkathon begins at 8 a.m. Individuals and teams are welcome. The entry fee is $25. There will be fun activities for children and adults, including raffles and prizes, which include a 48-inch Sony flat screen LCD TV.

“Our goal this year is to raise resources and funds to support our continued growth of programs, medical assistance, new options of care, scholarships and community outreach, which is fundamental to our mission of providing education, screening, counseling and services to persons with sickle cell disease and the trait,” said James E. Rawlings, Chair of SCDAA of Southern CT. “There is no cure for this disease, but there is hope.”

The first walk was organized by local alumni of Delaware State University and took place in Bridgeport. Over 100 supporters braved the elements and walked five miles to the Walk’s End at historic Seaside Park. This year, the walk is expected to draw over 600 participants. SCDAA of Southern Connecticut was founded in 1985 in Bridgeport by Virginia Scott to bring awareness and to raise funds for her young grandson who was afflicted with the disease.

Since that time, the organization has grown and moved its main office to New Haven, where a large segment of Sickle Cell patients live and receive care. A new Sickle Cell Center, the first in New England will open this fall. The group also has an office in Bridgeport.

This year’s Walkathon will have mayors from local municipalities serving as honorary chairs as well as community leaders from throughout the region. Additionally, Coach James Jones and members of his Yale basketball team will be providing demonstration instructional skills.

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