The nonprofit American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) fundraiser walk aiming to support research for a cure and help patients returns this weekend for the first time since 2014, the group announced.

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out Saturday, Sept. 22 for the 2018 Long Island Optimism Walk at Marjorie R. Post Community Park in Massapequa. The walk had nearly reached its goal of raising $60,000 last week and organizers expect a surge in donations as the event nears.

“We feel really strongly that it’s time to bring it back,” said Eloise Caggiano, Senior Director of Communication for the APDA. She added that the funds raised will go toward programs and services on LI. The group has two local centers that offer services: one at St. Catherine of Siena in Smithtown, and the other at NYIT Old Westbury.

The family friendly walk is one of 20 like it nationwide that APDA holds throughout the year. There is no fundraising quota to participate, but helping gather donations is encouraged. In addition to a one-mile walk, the event offers support and educational opportunities as well as other family-friendly fun including music, sponsor activities and refreshments.

“The Optimism Walk is an important opportunity for people impacted by PD to come together, share stories, offer support and connect,” said APDA President and CEO Leslie Chambers. “The emotional benefits of people coming together for a cause are immeasurable. And … we are learning more and more about the significant benefits of exercise for people with PD, so what better way to support APDA and each other than by getting out there and walking!”

Registration is free for all participants. Online registration is strongly encouraged. For more information, visit apdaparkinson.org or contact Laura Higgins at 917-829-1027 or NYwalk@apdaparkinson.org

No dogs are allowed in the park.

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.