Calling walkers, runners, marathoners

LAS VEGAS – Save the date: Saturday, May 21, 2011. Join Angelman Syndrome Walk at Lorenzi Park. Walk for babies, have fun, and raise funds for Angelman Syndrome (AS).

Grace Samson, chair of 2011 National Angelman Syndrome Walk in Las Vegas, is calling families, officers and members of associations of all kinds, colors and hues, to have fun together, and raise funds for children afflicted with Angelman Syndrome.

The Annual Walk supports the mission of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF) which is to generate awareness of the debilitating impact of the syndrome on kids, and to raise funds for advancing the treatment of Angelman syndrome through education and information, support, advocacy and research.

Readers are urged to visit and register at (Team Las Vegas Evan) between now and May 21, 2011. Those who registered on April 18-21 received a free ASF Angelman Walk-a-thon t-shirt, according to Samson.

“There are new additions to the Walk this year. 1K Fun Walk/5K Run will be the main event. New additions include Bicycle and Scooter Ride around the park, Dog Walk, Chess games and lessons from Virgil Reyes. A special Dog Zone complete with food and water for the dogs is also provided,” says Samson.

Trophies and medals will be awarded to the best runners, chess players, and the best- looking dogs. Picnic and entertainment, including fun activities for the whole family such as clown, magician, balloons, face painting, and helmets give-away, as well as hotdogs, burgers and drinks, will be provided.

First Aid Stations will be available and staffed by Pediatric Nurses onsite, and secured by Police Officers during the event. The Lorenzi Park boasts covered picnic areas with abundant trees, convenient restrooms close to the covered area, and plenty of parking. The park is conveniently located close to the Strip, a shopping center, and the UMC Children’s Hospital.

The event will be covered by the mass media including Balita-Las Vegas, and a radio station that will broadcast Live! from the park, while local Las Vegas television Channel KLAV will provide coverage of the AS Walk-a-thon.

Samson appeals to the Filipinos’ traditional spirit of bayanihan, and the Americans’ spirit of volunteerism. “Please come and support us. We appreciate what you can do to help us: Donate, Participate, Volunteer, Do Fundraising Events, Spread the News, and bring your families, friends and dogs to the Walk.”

Samson explains the option to donate by e-mail to the ASF, or donate to a fundraising page by visiting For inquiries and donations, please call Grace Samson at (702) 454-2298, or e-mail Grace Samson at

Last year, the local AS Walk raised over $12,000. “It was also the most attended AS Walk since we started in 2007,” says Samson. “This year, we aim to double the number of registrants and participants as we request everyone to get the word out to family members, friends and associates,” adds Samson.

Grace Samson, mother to three sons Eric, 13, eight year-old Ethan, and six year-old Evan, who is afflicted with the Angelman syndrome, again accepted to be this year’s chairperson of the ASF Walk-a-thon.

The ASF National Walk is the largest fundraising event for the ASF without which vital services and research funding on behalf of all individuals with Angelman syndrome would not have been possible, according to Sheila Wenger, Special Events Coordinator & Meeting Planner for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, Inc. based in Illinois.

Wikipedia defines Angelman syndrome (AS) as a rare neuro-genetic disorder named after a British pediatrician, Dr. Harry Angelman, who first described the syndrome in 1965. AS is characterized by intellectual and developmental delay, speech impediment, sleep disturbance, unstable jerky gait, seizures, hand flapping movements, frequent laughter/smiling and usually a happy demeanor. (Zen S. Laluna)