Block patriarch surpasses goal
A sea of light blue weaved its way through Bear Creek Park Sunday, as members of the Hike for Hank walking team completed the Parkinson’s SuperWalk.
Wearing azure-coloured t-shirts with the words “Hike for Hank” printed in white, more than 100 people participated in Canada’s largest fundraiser for Parkinson’s as they made their way through the Surrey park in honour of White Rock resident Henry Block, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 12 years ago.
The octogenarian and his family have since taken up the cause, speaking out about the need for more support services for those already diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease.
Earlier this year, the family pledged to match funds raised by the Hike for Hank walking team with an initial goal of $50,000.
However, as the campaign picked up momentum, the goal was reached and surpassed days before the SuperWalk.
By Sunday, the team had already raised $86,970 to be matched by the Block family patriarch, said son John.
“It’s quite amazing to say the least. There’s no question that dad’s personal involvement inspired people to get involved,” he said.
“We’re blown away by the support. We never dreamed we would have achieved so much in such a short period of time.”
With $174,970 to be donated, the Hike for Hank team broke records by raising more funds for the B.C. Parkinson’s Society than any other team in the history of the event.
By press time Monday afternoon, the province-wide event had raised an estimated $494,000.
“That’s higher than it’s ever been,” he said.
“Obviously the fact that we got so much community support helped make the campaign so successful.
“I can tell you this, we will forever be a part of the Parkinson’s community. We’ve been touched by the disease because of dad’s struggle and we’ll always be apart of it. Even after he’s passed, we will continue to battle it.”
Donations are accepted until Oct. 1.