ELLSWORTH — Maine’s Team Hope Walk for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America took place on Oct. 14 at Ellsworth High School starting out with a lively Chinese auction, face painting, refreshments, information on Huntington’s disease and a big dose of high spirits. The sunshine and brilliant foliage enhanced a day that was already special for bringing families together for a meaningful observance.
The three-mile walk began just after 11 on the Ellsworth trail. Some 116 registered walkers of all ages turned out including 10 teams, eight of which were made up of families and friends of those affected by Huntington’s disease.
Team Queen Victoria, wearing pink shirts and tiaras, and Team Nate’s Family had more than 20 members each. Other enthusiastic family teams were Team Campbell, Team West Walkers, Team Ketchen, Team Nell, Team Paulette’s Parade and Team Family Isn’t Always Blood.
Local businesses and a nearby institution formed teams as well — Maine Coast Sea Vegetables and MDI Biological Laboratory. In addition, many individuals donated, walked and volunteered. For some walkers, this event was their first connection with the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.
This year’s Team Hope has raised almost $20,000 to date. Donations will be accepted at hdsa.org/thwmaine through December. Funds go to research, education, support and advocacy. Ellsworth and non-local businesses and friends gave their support both as sponsors and with in-kind donations for the Chinese auction and refreshments. Ellsworth High School students volunteered to do the face painting. A crew of volunteers helped with the auction, registration, photography, set-up and food
“As a result of Team Hope, more families will benefit from the services provided by HDSA,” said Maine affiliate chairwoman and event organizer Nancy Patterson. “This was a record year for Maine. We were fortunate to have so much community support and participation by friends and families across the state.”