TYLER, TX - On Saturday, February 5, 2011, 300 walkers will flex their muscles and raise funds and awareness for Muscular Dystrophy Association. The 6th annual MDA Muscle Walk, formally known as Stride and Ride, will benefit local individuals and families coping with muscular dystrophy and related progressive muscle diseases. Registration takes place at 8:00 am at Broadway Square Mall, and the short mile victory walk will begin at 9:00 am. Local radio personality Luscious Ice from the Blaze 102.7, 106.9 will emcee this year's event. MDA families from Tyler, Longview, Kemp, Athens, Canton, Gun Barrel City, Wills Point, Kilgore, Van, Quitman, Lindale, Palestine, Yantis, Mabank, and Flint will all be walking.
Muscle Walk sponsors for 2011 include Broadway Square Mall, Sonic Drive-In, Access2Mobility, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Kohl's, Watson W. Wise Foundation, La Quinta, and KETK- TV NBC 56, home of the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon.
For the third year in East Texas, Sonic is giving back to our community by holding the "Sonic School Challenge." Sonic will be giving out $1,000 total in grants to local schools that are helping raise money for MDA research. Sonic will be giving $500 to the school who raises the most funds, $300 for the second most funds raised and $200 for the third most funds raised. The schools are allowed to do as they wish with their money. Funds come directly from Sonic Drive-in and do not come from MDA. Schools participating include: Canton High School, Bullard High School, Gladewater High School, Eustace I.S.D., James Bowie Schools, Tyler Junior College, and TK Gorman.
At the walk participants will enjoy face painting, team pictures, children fingerprinting, and entertainment from Apache Jewlyz, UT Tyler cheerleaders, Bullard High School drum line, and Lee High School band. Area mascots that will be in attendance include Sonic Limeade, McGruff the Crime Dog, Sparky the Fire Dog, Blue Bear from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chick-Fil-A cows, and the UT Tyler mascot.
East Texas MDA Executive Director Meredith Honeycutt notes, "Muscle Walk brings the community together for a worthwhile cause. It's a great opportunity to have fun and spend time with friends while helping others. Muscle Walk really is our family reunion for the year. It offers a sense of support and community that simply must be experienced to be understood."
Last year's Muscle Walk raised $32,000, and it's hoped this year's event will beat that total. Individuals and teams are encouraged to raise at least $74/ team member in donations, the cost of one minute of MDA research. Incentives are offered for funds raised by individuals and teams. Since the East Texas Walk started in 2006 there have been over 1,000 walkers who have raised over $135,000 for MDA research.
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