Members of the local media and business community turned out for the official American Diabetes Association’s Step Out Walk Corporate Community Breakfast for Arizona on Tuesday, May 17, at the Arizona Biltmore.
The breakfast was the kick-off to the annual Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes — the signature fundraising event for the ADA, which will take place Saturday, Oct. 1 — and supporters who were in attendance included ABC 15, CIGNA, Subway Restaurants of Arizona, the Phoenix Mercury and others.
Adam Wayne of ABC 15, who has been named the 2011 Corporate Recruitment Chairman for the Walk, spoke during the event about how everyone has a personal connection to the disease, including himself. His sister passed away from complications of the disease and father was recently diagnosed. In addition, Step Out Youth Ambassadors Emmy Cartwright and Valerie Skerkavich took to the stage to give their personal stories and tell how they’ve found a way to help in the fight.
Members of the CIGNA team also spoke during the event on the impact of diabetes in the workplace — estimating the total annual economic cost of diabetes in medical expenditures and workplace productivity is nearly $174 billion nationwide. According to CIGNA marketing director Lisa Lachowicz, more than 500,000 adults in Maricopa County are affected by daibetes, and one in three children face a future with diabetes.
The Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes fundraising walk will take place Oct. 1 at both Rawhide and Midwestern University, and will include a 5K, entertainment, interactive activities and much more. Walkers will include corporate sponsors, local walk teams, local schools and additional individuals affected by diabetes in the Valley.
The goal of the 2011 campaign is to better last year’s fundraising and attendance numbers — in 2010, more than 120,000 participants nationwide helped to raise more than $19 million to support the ADA’s movement to stop diabetes.
For more information, visit diabetes.org/stepout.