Walk For Kids child mobility fundraiser on again

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The Gore River Valley Lions are running the Walk For Kids again this year.

They are running the event as part of a New Zealand-wide campaign to raise money for the Lions Clubs New Zealand Child Mobility Foundation.

Gore River Valley Lions Club president Christine Eason said this was the third year the event had been run.

It would be at Hamilton Park on October 8.

“We want to get the whole community involved,” she said.

The walk was 10km, or about five times around Hamilton Park, Mrs Eason said.

People could participate by walking the full 10km distance or any distance to suit.

“It is suitable for all ages and abilities.

“Anybody can come along.”

Entry was by donation or people could collect sponsorship, she said.

There was no need to register – people could just turn up at 10am on the day.

The Lions Clubs New Zealand Child Mobility Foundation put the money raised towards customised orthotic walking frames for children with cerebral palsy or similar conditions.

“They cost about $10,000 each,” Mrs Eason said.

The walking frames, called Hart Walkers, were not funded and without the foundation’s help, the families would not be able to afford them.

Gore girl Grace Willetts (16) benefited from a Hart Walker when she was younger.

Her mother, Nicola Willetts, said the walker had been vital for Grace’s development.

“It was very important for bone growth,” Mrs Willetts said.

The Hart Walkers were the only frames available to help children walk upright and bear weight.

“It gave her a chance to do things other children take for granted.”

She was grateful to the Lions club for giving Grace the opportunity to have the experience of walking, Mrs Willetts said.

“We wouldn’t have been able to afford it without them.”

Grace had since grown out of the frame but was grateful for help it provided, Mrs Willetts said.

“It meant she was able to be upright with her peers.”