Disney and CHOC lace up shoes for charity 5k Walk in the Park

By Mark Eades, Backstage SoCal

Get your walking shoes ready, it’s time to start preparing for the 2018 CHOC Walk in the Park, presented by the Disneyland Resort. This is the 28th year for the fundraising walk, which attracts thousands of participants eager to walk five kilometers around the Disneyland Resort, Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

The official walk ambassador for this year is Justin Helper. The 11-year-old was born with lissencephaly; which means his head and brain did not form to its full size. Because of it, he cannot walk or talk, and is fed through a tube. CHOC has helped Justin’s family as they continue to nourish and care for him, including helping get him to his many doctor visits. Because of CHOC’s help, his family wants to give back and have formed their own walking team for the walk called “Justin’s Helpers.” Justin and his team will be at the front of the walk, pacing the nearly 14,000 participants.

2018 CHOC Walk in the Park presented by Disneyland
The logo for the 2018 CHOC Walk in the Park presented by the Disneyland Resort. Photo by Mark Eades.

Participants can either walk with an existing team, or form their own, with each person getting a T-shirt. In addition, teams and individuals are encouraged to get sponsors that will donate money to CHOC based on each kilometer the person walks and a team’s number of participants – donations are tax deductible and participants can donate more to CHOC if they wish.

The actual walk takes place Sunday, August 26, 2018, at the Disneyland Resort, with the opening ceremony on Main Street U.S.A. inside Disneyland at 6:15 a.m. Participants are encouraged to get to the Disneyland Resort much earlier, as they will still have to go through the security checkpoints. The on-site CHOC Walk information booth will open that morning at 5 a.m. in the Esplanade.

While many under care at CHOC participate in the walk, some cannot. They will have their own special “Minnie Walk” (now in its 25th year) at the hospital in June. Only patients and their parents or guardians and family may participate in that special event.

2018 CHOC Walk Ambassador
Justin Helper, 11, pictured with his father Colby (left) and the 2018 Honorary Celebrity Ambassador KTLA’s meteorologist Henry DiCarlo. Photo by Mark Eades.

Want to go?

What: Walk in the Park

Where: Disneyland Resort

When: 6:15 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 26

How much: $85 early bird registration (3+ years); $95 late registration after Aug. 13

More info: To register or make a donation visit: www.chocwalk.org.

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