Record Turnout at Walnut Foundation’s 10th Annual Walkathon for Prostate Cancer Awareness

Local MPPs Sharef Sabawy, Patrice Barnes, Charmain Williams support the Walnut Foundation

Under the radiant morning sun, the Walnut Foundation’s 10th-anniversary fundraising walkathon witnessed an unprecedented gathering at the Etobicoke Creek Trail at Loafers Lake in Brampton. This year’s event, dedicated to raising awareness about prostate cancer in the Black community, was characterized by stirring speeches from local leaders and an overwhelming display of community solidarity.

Kicking off the event was Patrick Brown, Mayor of Brampton, who reminisced on the foundation’s journey. “I remember coming here for the bench dedication a few years ago. It was a small crowd for the walk that day. This is a huge, huge turnout. Absolutely incredible. Well done to the organizers, the sponsors, everyone registering, and for coming all the way up to Brampton today,” he recalled.

Walking the trail

The walkathon was graced by the presence of respected dignitaries, including Sharef Sabawy from Mississauga, who lauded the regional turnout. The event also welcomed Councillor Rod Power from Bramalea and the esteemed community leader and Deputy Chief of Police, Mark Andrews. Mayor Brown highlighted Andrews’ exceptional leadership, noting his earlier receipt of the key to the city.

Charmaine Williams, Minister for Women’s Social and Economic Opportunities, emphasized the significance of representation in government. “Representation is so important because you have people at the table who are able to make sure the voices of our communities are heard,” she emphasized, announcing a grant from the Ontario Trillium Fund amounting to $86,000 for the Walnut Foundation.

Dr. Jackie Bender

The walkathon also featured insights from Dr. Jackie Bender, a Scientist and Co-Lead of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Department of Supportive Care at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in men. The Walnut Foundation is an essential resource and leading expert on prostate cancer in Black men in Canada,” she affirmed.

Shafqat Ali, Ivan Dawns, Anthony Henry, Ruby Sahota, Ken Noel, and Sean Blake,

Anthony Henry, Executive Director of the Walnut Foundation, urged heightened awareness and proactive health measures, while Ruby Sohota, Member of Parliament for Brampton North, conveyed a message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, acknowledging the foundation’s endeavors.

As participants geared up for the walk, a palpable sense of unity and purpose enveloped the atmosphere. Ranging from local residents to community leaders, individuals stretched and readied themselves, embodying the spirit of collective action against prostate cancer.