For the past 24 years, early on a Sunday morning in October, we gather our friends and families and make our way to the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento. We do not come to protest. We do not come to campaign. We come to unite for our kids, parents, friends, and loved ones impacted by type one diabetes (T1D). This year again, we will come together to care, give and celebrate!
On Sunday, October 6th, we will walk in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the One Walk in Sacramento! For 25 years, rain or shine, our T1D families have walked the streets of downtown Sacramento from the Capitol, Old Town, K Street and the Tower Bridge. This year, we will walk from the steps of the Capitol one last time.
In 1994, the then named Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, began holding its annual walk on the west steps of the State Capitol. Although, a modest fundraiser at the time, it soon became one of the premier charity walks in the Sacramento region. By 1998, the event was raising nearly $300,000 annually! In the early 2000’s, we were walking not only in Sacramento, but in Fresno and Stockton as well. Total Walk revenues reached nearly half a million dollars each year! By 2010, we felt the impact of the economic recession, but it wasn’t long before we saw a rebound and the average once again reach $350,000 raised annually for type one research.
Teams with names like Joseph’s Sugar Rush, Grace’s Gang, Michael’s Crew, The Malibu Pumpers, Tylers Trekkers and Thor’s Family of Superheroes have the graced the grounds of the state capitol every year with enthusiasm, spirit and energy. These same families spend the year asking for donations, holding fundraising events, setting up social media campaigns and even playing video games to raise money for research – research that will, if we keep walking, eventually find a cure for T1D.
Last year, 89 outstanding family teams joined us! This year, with our finale at the capitol steps, our goal is to have 125 family teams crowd the capitol grounds in support of one another. We will remind each other why we wake up early on an October Sunday morning. Not to watch the 49ers, but to hug, love and honor the ones in our lives who face the challenges of T1D not just one morning in October, but every morning of the year.
Even though we are walking away from the State Capitol this year, we will not stop walking! We have simply outgrown our traditional walk home and are looking to create an even bigger walk experience in 2020! If you’re interested in joining our efforts to identify a new location, we are forming an exploratory committee to look at new venues for the most exciting walk location in the Sacramento region! Additionally, we are recruiting volunteers to help us as we expand our walk-day experience with the goal of involving more families throughout northern California. And, of course, we hope that you will join us for the Walk on October 6th. Registration will open in March, so you too, can begin your own team recruitment and fundraising efforts.
It’s an exciting time for JDRF and the One Walk. As we celebrate 25 years of memories, we hope that you will join us and help us as we prepare for 2020!
Written By: Mark Casale, One Walk Chair