Two hours before Six Flags opened for business on Saturday, hundreds of Santa Clarita residents congregated beneath the roller coasters and waterslides to take part in the Greater Los Angeles Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes.
The 5k walk, spearheaded by the American Diabetes Association, spanned most of the Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor parks – all while raising money for diabetes research and awareness.
“It was crisp, cool, bright and early,” said Teresa Todd, public relations officer for the event. “But we had about 600 walkers and several hundred volunteers.”
One of these volunteers was Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Corey Brewer.
Brewer addressed the crowd, telling them the story of his parents’ struggles with the disease.
“He did the entire walk with a young boy who was eight or nine-years old who did have diabetes,” Todd said. “It was very inspirational.”
“He gave the event and the people all the time in the world.”
Another special guest at the walk was Jack McGee, noted for his roles in The Fighter (2010) and Moneyball (2011). A long time supporter of the walk, McGee acted as the event’s emcee.
Although the walk has become an annual event, the American Diabetes Association split the event between two venues this year. One walk was held Oct. 21 at Griffith Park, and the other Saturday morning at Magic Mountain.
Regardless of the venue, the association was able to raise much needed funds for diabetes research.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 30 million Americans are currently living with the disease. It is projected that, by the year 2050, this number will jump to one in three Americans.
“So many people are either affected themselves or know someone affected by diabetes,” said Todd.
But events like the Step On Walk to End Diabetes can help to reduce this drastically increasing number.
“Unfortunately it is a growing community as the numbers increase,” she said. “But the walk was a good opportunity for people to come out and join in the goal to stop diabetes.”