Proceeds from a fundraiser on Sunday will benefit the National Kidney Foundation.
The 4th Annual Fort Myers Kidney Walk will be held at 10 a.m. at Lakes Regional Park, with onsite registration kicking off at 8:30 a.m. Walkers, runners and even scooters are invited to take part.
“It’s a three-mile non-competitive walk,” Carolina Ferrer, event organizer and an employee at the Lehigh Kidney Care Center, said. “We walk around the park – there are stops for water.”
The fundraiser is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome.
Participants can take part as individuals or form teams with family, friends or colleagues.
“We are urging the Southwest Florida community to support this event,” she said.
Last year, the walk raised approximately $76,000, with close to 300 people participating.
“Our goal was $50,000,” Ferrer said, noting that the event gets bigger every year.
“We have seen it grow,” she said.
This year, the goal of the National Kidney Foundation is to raise $78,000.
“We’re probably at like $40,000,” Ferrer said on Tuesday.
The Fort Myers walk typically draws between 300 and 400 participants.
“We’re hoping a little more people come out,” she said.
The event will also feature live music, awards for top fundraisers, special performances and other activities. There will be a live deejay, Zumba with Jesenia, the Hot Flashz dancers and more.
“There’s going to be activities for the whole family,” Ferrer said.
Vendors offering educational material will be on hand.
“There’s going to be a lot of health type of activities,” she said.
Awards will be handed out for the top fundraisers in categories like volunteer, clinic and sponsor.
“We really want to reach out to the community with awareness and prevention and advocacy and treatment,” Ferrer said. “To prevent kidney disease and the silent epidemic that’s going on.”
According to officials, 26 million Americans are affected by chronic kidney disease.
Funds from the Annual Fort Myers Kidney Walk support the National Kidney Foundation’s programs, which include public and professional education, free kidney health screenings and direct patient aid.
The foundation is dedicated to the prevention of the kidney disease, improving the health and well-being of patients and families affected, and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.
For information or to supporter a walk participant, visit: www.kidneywalk.org.
Lakes Regional Park is at 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers.