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Parkinson’s walk coming to White Rock’s promenade

‘Punch Out’ event debuts in White Rock April 28

The 1st Annual Punch Out Parkinson’s Walk is set for this weekend along White Rock’s promenade, and organizers hope it’ll pack a punch towards ongoing efforts to open a dedicated wellness centre.

“This walk is huge for us,” said Frankie LaSasso, who has been offering boxing training for those with Parkinson’s for nearly a decade.

“We’ve got 100 people signed up already for it.”

With two distances to choose from — one shorter, one longer — the April 28 walk begins and ends at the White Rock Museum & Archives (14970 Marine Dr.). The shorter version extends to the white rock, while the longer walk takes participants to the East Beach bear statue.

The fundraising goal is $50,000 — an amount LaSasso said will go a long way towards keeping the wellness centre’s doors open.

“Every dollar counts,” he said, noting he is aiming to have the facility up and running in Langley by June 1.

LaSasso, owner of Box2Fit, introduced the Rock Steady Boxing program — designed specifically for people living with Parkinson’s — to South Surrey in 2017. It was founded in Indiana in 2006. Participants report a lessening of such symptoms as tremors and a belief that the exercise “does help slow the progression.”

He began offering the Boxabilities program in Cloverdale in late 2019.

READ MORE: Cloverdale boxing program adds punch to ‘timid’ 25-year-old

Punch Out Parkinson’s achieved charitable status in April 2023 and held its first gala — Guns and Hoses — just months later, in October, with the second rendition planned for this fall. Funds raised from it, as well as the upcoming walk, will benefit the non-profit Punch Out Parkinson’s wellness centre.

LaSasso said he was inspired to open the facility after he saw one in White Rock dedicated to people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

“I thought, ‘Why can’t we have a place for people with Parkinson’s?’ And not just a place for our boxing program, but all other areas of support,” he said.

That model for him includes a place for social events, a place to just hang out, and a place for classes, every day of the week.

“It’s a boxing program, but it’s also a complete fitness program, it’s a support group and it’s a social group,” he said.

Many Punch Out Parkinson’s participants, he noted, “become friends for life.”

LaSasso added that the Punch Out Parkinson’s program — offered at no cost — is returning to South Surrey, through a partnership with Sandcastle Fitness Club (1938 152 St.). Classes are set to get underway on May 2 and will be offered Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 11 a.m.

Highlights of this weekend’s walk event are to include refreshments, music and updates on progress of the wellness centre. To join in, meet at Memorial Park (beside the museum).

To register or for more information, visit or call 778-384-6284.

- with files from Malin Jordan

Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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