The nation’s largest gathering of the PKD community is our signature fundraising and public awareness event, the Walk for PKD. Since 2000, the Walk has raised an inspiring $33 million, 100% of which goes to research. We spoke with Sue Full, our Senior Director of Community Fundraising, to learn more about these annual events.
PKD Foundation (PKDF): What would you like people to know about participating in a Walk?
Sue: Participants feel empowered because they’re funding research for PKD, and they know it will lead to advancements in disease management. They also express gratitude for the sense of community and understanding they receive. It’s motivating to see others are working hard to support their cause.
PKDF: If there is not a Walk currently in their city, can someone start a new walk?
Sue: Yes, if you are interested at starting a Walk in your area please email us and we will discuss the possibilities and the best way to get started.
PKDF: How does the Virtual Walk work?
Sue: The Virtual Walk is intended to be an option for participants who don’t have a Walk in their area. You can participate by logging miles on a treadmill or walking around your neighborhood while using our platform to fundraise for PKD.
You can also coordinate an event in your hometown that allows people to gather, walk, and fundraise.
The Virtual Walk allows you to participate anywhere, any way! If you need more ideas of how it can work for you, email us and our fundraising staff will be happy to help you.
PKDF: How does Walk for PKD fundraising support the Foundation’s vision to #endPKD?
Sue: 100% of donations to the Walk for PKD fund research.
PKDF: What is a Penny Kids Dash?
Sue: This is a very short run, typically held before the Walk begins, that allows kids a special way to join in the fun and help fundraise. Almost all Walks include a Penny Kids Dash. Check the event details for your local Walk for PKD.
PKDF: How can children and schools get involved in a Walk?
Sue: Kids can fundraise with their class or school. We have seen some very successful penny wars and fundraising dashes held at school to support the Walk for PKD.
PKDF: Do you have any tips for walkers and volunteers to make participating in a Walk a success?
Tips for Walkers
- Invite your friends and family to join you. The benefits grow when you can share it with people you care about.
- Once you are registered for a Walk, you will have access to a personal fundraising page. Make sure to update it with your story and why PKD matters to you.
- Tell people you’re walking and ask for donations. People like to be included in things that are important to people they know.
Tips for Volunteers
- Connect with the lead volunteers in your area and stay in contact with them.
- Identify a way you can contribute that will be meaningful and matches the amount of time you can give.
- Share your ideas.
PKDF: How can help people make walking together an annual event?
Sue: Most of our events are typically on the same weekend each year. Many of our past participants have the date blocked on their calendars, and they can always contact us at the beginning of the year for planning purposes. Many families plan picnics or barbeques after the Walk for a day of celebration with family and friends.
To find a Walk for PKD event near you, visit walkforpkd.org and register today. Let friends, family, and coworkers know about your commitment to ending PKD by tagging photos and comments using the hashtags #WalkforPKD and #endPKD on social media. If there’s not currently a Walk for PKD event in your community, email us or join the Virtual Walk and help us raise money for critical PKD research.