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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Walk it out

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Participants in the 2011 Northwest Iowa Substance Abuse Recovery Walk release hundreds of balloons into the air. Each walker was given a balloon to carry on their journey and to release at the celebration. Each released balloon symbolized recovery.
(File photo)
Brains Together for a Cure and Northwest Iowa Substance Abuse Walk on Saturday in Spencer.

Spencer will buzz with walkers today. Both the Brains Together for a Cure walk/run and the Northwest Iowa Substance Abuse Recovery Walk will take place through the city.

The Brains Together for a Cure walk will follow the Fairview Elementary School walking trails. Registration opens at 9:30 a.m., and the walk/run begins at 10 a.m. Participants can choose between a 5k walk/run or a one mile walk. Registration costs are $20 for participants eligible for backpack and gift items, and $10 for just event participation.

Brains Together for a Cure is a nonprofit organization benefiting pediatric and adult brain tumor research at the Mayo Clinic.

"Money raised by Brains Together for a Cure has come at a critically important time," said Dr. Brian O'Neill in a release. "In an era of economic uncertainty and a decrease in funding from from the National Institute of Health, the grants available from the group help to fund new innovative research."

Dr. O'Neill is a member of the Brains Together for a Cure scientific review board and head of the Translational Research Program in Neuro-Oncology at the Mayo Clinic.

Later in the day, walkers will gather at the Compass Pointe parking lot, located on the north end of of the Gateway North Mall, to walk to Leach Park and celebrate recovery.

Registration for the Northwest Iowa Substance Abuse Recovery Walk begins at 11 a.m., and the walk begins at 12 p.m.

"September is national recovery month," event coordinator Ashley Christiansen said. "We're walking to recognize the individuals in recovery. We like to get out there and celebrate that recovery is possible."

Participation in the Recovery Walk is free, though donations will go toward funding next year's walk. As of Sept. 21, 215 people had registered. Event coordinators hope to have between 300 and 350 people turn out to walk.

The Recovery Walk is sponsored by Parent Partners, Compass Pointe and Upper Des Moines Opportunity. Walkers come from 10 counties, from as far as Sioux City.

"We chose Spencer because Compass Pointe had been so helpful in letting us use the facility for planning," Christiansen said.

She continued, "Spencer is also a great location because it gives a great visual. We have a mile-long line of people walking down Grand Avenue carrying balloons. It's a neat event for everyone."

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