PENDLETON - Addie Lynn Peterson, 4, is again the inspiration and mascot for the cystic fibrosis Great Strides walk-a-thon in Pendleton.
Peterson's grandmother, Carolyn Frasier, has walked with Addie's Army and coordinated the Pendleton walk for the last two years.
The Great Strides walk begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 8, at Roy Raley Park, next to the Round-Up grounds. The walk will be on the River Parkway and end back at the park.
Collection envelopes and additional information are available by calling Frasier at 276-6267.
Local businesses and individuals have donated raffle items to be given away following the walk. Music by Dick Kaiser, Terry Mayberry and Jerry Copeland will entertain walkers at the park. Donated food and beverages also will be available.
"Walking in Great Strides is a fun way to get out with your family and friends and support a good cause while also helping families living with this disease in your local community," Frasier said. "A few hours of your time on a Saturday morning can make all the difference in the world when it comes to funding research and finding an eventual cure."
At last year's Pendleton walk, 150 people raised almost $11,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Sixty-five of the walkers received small sprays of roses, because children too young to pronounce the hard-to-say name of the disease are taught to call it "65 roses."
"Local businesses and people do such a great job of caring all year long," Frasier said.
The annual walk for the cure, a fund-raiser for the Oregon chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, encourages participants to raise pledges. The pledges fund research and care for CF. Nearly 90 cents of every dollar raised from Great Strides goes directly to CF research and treatment programs.
CF is a genetic disease that affects about 30,000 people in the United States. With CF, a faulty inherited gene sets into motion a process that leads to chronic, lung-destroying infections, impaired ability to digest and absorb nutrition from food and numerous other problems.
When the CF Foundation was founded in 1955, few children lived to attend elementary school. Today, because of research and care supported by the CF Foundation, the median age of survival is 33.4 years.
Walk teams can register to participate in Great Strides locally by calling Frasier or on the CF Foundation's Web site at www.cff.org or by calling (503) 226-3435.