Fundraising walk coming to Virginia Beach Oceanfront

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JT Walk raises money for charities

A fundraising walk in Virginia Beach Sunday began when the namesake, Josh Thompson, was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. (Photo courtesy www.jtwalk.org)

The ninth-annual JT Walk & Beach Party will take place Sunday on 31st Street, along the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach.

Over the past eight years, the walk has raised more than $20 million to support the fight against ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and other local community projects. Participants will begin lining up on the boardwalk at 10 a.m., with the walk beginning at 10:15.

As part of the event, Train, a Grammy Award-winning rock band, will perform at the Virginia Beach Convention Center Sunday at 3 p.m. Erosion caused by Hurricane Matthew forced a venue change for the concert, originally scheduled for the beach. Doors to the convention center will open at 2 p.m.

The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation initiated the fundraising walk in 2008 to support local surfer Josh Thompson’s fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

The JT Walk & Beach Party now is the nation’s largest one-day fundraiser for ALS-related charities and research. Cash and pledges raised by the annual event support ALS research and services, as well as local community projects.

A major goal of this year’s event is to raise $1.5 million to complete the $15 million JT’s Camp Grom. When it opens next spring, the camp will be the region’s only indoor/outdoor camp facility dedicated to providing a recreational haven for America’s wounded veterans, Gold Star Families and anyone living with a disability. The camp sits on a 70-acre parcel in Virginia Beach.

Each person registered for the JT Walk & Beach Party will receive a commemorative T-shirt and a ticket to the party, which will run from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the beach at 6th Street.

The post-walk event will include food and drinks, live music, children’s activities and an arcade.

Team captains can enroll with 10 or more walkers. Sponsors, teams and walkers can register online at www.jtwalk.org.

Tickets for the Train concert are on sale at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000.

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