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Walkin’ for Willz Walk raises $15K for Juvenile Diabetes research; dedicated to Lauryn Dana

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POTSDAM - “Walkin’ for Willz” a 5K event in Potsdam, has raised a total of $111,463.46 for the CNY Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which serves people with Type 1 diabetes in St. Lawrence County.

Approximately 250 people participated in this year’s event, raising $15,086.84 and reaching the $100,000 milestone for the five-year walk series. The first St. Lawrence County JDRF walk in 2009 brought the biggest surge raising almost $40,000.

This year’s walk was dedicated to 11-year-old Lauryn Dana of North Lawrence, who lost her life in a 2012 car accident, along with her sister, mother, grandmother, and a family friend. Lauryn was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of 4 and battled this disease throughout her short lifetime.

She was a student at St. Lawrence Central School, who was to enter the sixth grade in the fall of 2012. Many of Lauryn’s family, friends, classmates and teachers walked in her memory “to spread her sweet smile,” said St. Lawrence Central teacher Aimee Perry.

Emily Sweet of Massena, addressed the crowd, explaining how she and Lauryn became best friends after she herself was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 8.

Michael Amell from the Potsdam Central track team was the first to cross the finish line. “The Cure-iers” of DeKalb Junction and “Soarin’ for Lauryn” of Brasher Falls were the top team fundraisers. Donald Wagner of Potsdam and Mandy Giordano of Hannawa Falls were the top individual fundraisers. Rose Edward of DeKalb Junction was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year. Rose heads the walk team, “The Cure-iers,”, who fundraise year round with baked sales, car washes, business sponsorships, and gift raffles.

Entertainment services were donated for the fifth year in a row by Cubby T. Clown and Company, TJ Karaoke of Massena, and Nicholous Rycroft of Colton. The Potsdam High School track team, led by April Barnes, volunteered their time at the registration area.

Fundraising for this event continues through Oct. 31 by searching “Lauryn” at http://jdrfevents.donordrive.com/

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