The March for Muscular Dystrophy: The Roots of the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

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WALK_Toronto 2010 wheelchair on pathIn November of 1954, Fire Fighters in Toronto, Ontario began their first fundraising campaign for the newly created Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada. The March for Muscular Dystrophy had our Fire Fighting allies marching door to door with canisters asking for donations. National and local media promoted and publicized the week-long event.

By 1956 over 200 Fire Departments were involved with fundraising and awareness campaigns across Canada. The marching from house to house eventually gave way to other campaigns, such as the Fill the Boot.

But walks and rallies remained popular in the Atlantic and in Quebec, and many such events were held in those two regions over the years. Their popularity with the public also brings significant financial success: the Atlantic Rally for Muscular Dystrophy raised $90,000 in 2006, while in Quebec’s Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region, some editions of the “Dystromarche de Jonquière” raised up to $100,000.

Noticing the success these walks were having, Muscular Dystrophy Canada announced in 2007 that a similar event was going to be the National Signature Event. This event was named the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy.

The inaugural year in 2008 consisted of twenty events and raised $300,000. The following year the number of events grew to 30 and more than double the amount of funds was raised weighing in at $649,000!  Each year the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy grew in both the number of communities across Canada and funds raised.

With 2014 marking 60 years of progress for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy has grown to include 60 Walks throughout all the provinces!

“With 60 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy events taking place in 2014, we have the opportunity to reach new people, raise more awareness and continue to support individuals and families who need us most.

“I want to thank each of you for all that you do to make our Walk for Muscular Dystrophy events such wonderful successes. We are stronger together. Thank you for making muscles move!”

-          Catherine Sherrard, Chief Executive Officer

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