The 2015 Walk to End Epilepsy was the biggest (and arguably) best Walk on record. Early estimates suggest that there were more than 6,000 people on site and that the Walk raised over $600,000 to go towards epilepsy programs, research and services in the fight to End Epilepsy.
Along with record numbers in attendance, the 2015 Walk saw a record number of people engaging online and sharing their stories through the hashtags, #W2EE and #Selfie2EE. End Epilepsy featured multiple stories on our Facebook Page and our Instagram account. If you haven’t had a chance, we encourage everyone to go online and share their story and be inspired by the other stories.
The 2015 Walk to End Epilepsy featured two new media partners, ABC7 and Mega 96.3 FM, who helped us get the walk covered on both the television and radio airwaves.
Greg Lee, a correspondent for ABC7 in Los Angeles, agreed to be one the Masters of Ceremony for the Walk because he felt a personal connection to the cause after meeting one of our Local Heroes while covering a story. Greg then advocated on End Epilepsy’s behalf to bring ABC7’s support and the station helped promote the walk during their 7-Day Planner segments. On the day of the Walk, ABC7 sent a camera crew and reported on the event which you can see below.
On the FM dial, our other Master of Ceremony was Nachin, the morning radio host for Mega 96.3 FM, who found his own special connection to the cause when he did a special public service program on epilepsy in the fall. Nachin’s station sent reinforcements to the Walk with a booth filled with giveaways and Nachin even had his own Walk team!
Some other program highlights included celebrity appearances by actor Coby Bell, actor and parent advocate Greg Grunberg and a very special performance by DJ Hapa.
This year also featured the first Earl Feldhorn Memorial Award, given in honor of our beloved board member. This year’s recipient was Tracy Estrada-Heitt. Tracy, another one of our Local Heroes, was recognized for her work with her team Gen Dare to Dream 2 which, for the second straight year, had the most team members registered and in attendance at the Walk.
The Walk Committee also recognized multiple other teams for their outstanding fundraising and advocacy and along with their “Team Award” they were given another special honor. The teams were greeted on stage by equestrian Allison Douglas, a three time Gold Medalist from the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. Douglas and her family flew from their home state of North Carolina to take part in the Walk and Allison agreed to hand out the team awards and take pictures with the teams and her gold medals.
Walk participants also got to get decked out in their finest purple gear at the fan-favorite “Purple Booth” and had a chance to represent Team Hundley in officially licensed Adidas shirts if they took part in the Team Hundley Challenge.
The 2015 Walk to End Epilepsy was a triumph on the awareness and fundraising levels. And, in its purest form, it was a celebration of the power of sharing our stories and coming together as a community. We are filled with pride, joy and gratitude to all of those who showed up, shared their story, spread awareness, walked and gave to make this year’s Walk our best ever!