Texans Walk for a Cure

April 30, 2007

Texans Walk for a Cure
Team Odyssey members take a camera break after taking part in the Great Strides walk.
What if CF stood for “cure found?” Enthusiastic walkers and volunteers at the Great Strides walk at Bear Creek Park in Keller, Texas, turned out in numbers with the belief that this is an achievable dream. On March 23, even the weather cooperated: a week of rain made way for a partly sunny day that lifted the spirits of all involved.

In the fourth year of this walk, organized by the Northeast Texas Chapter, donations totaled more than $92,000. Walk Chair Sonya O’Brien, mother of twin boys Connor and Corey, who have CF, said, “This was an amazing event, pulled off by great teamwork. It is so wonderful to be able to count on the local community to pull together with one goal in mind—finding a cure for CF.”

O’Brien also credits Estella Smith with her team of Carroll’s Dragons, Collin Brinson with Crusaders for Collin and Hope Ybarra with Grace’s Angels for the walk’s success.  The team leaders raised money a variety of ways, including selling plush toys at the local Wal-Mart and Sam’s stores, letter-writing campaigns and selling donated pizza at the local high school. In addition, O’Brien’s husband, Chuck, organized the Loomis Fargo Golf Tournament and raised $35,000 for Great Strides.

The participation of volunteers was critical: O’Brien and Smith each organized between 10 and 20 volunteers and everyone was trained beforehand for specific jobs. A highlight of the walk was the signed posters of Isabella Ybarra, Hope’s 3-year-old daughter, which were signed and presented with great fanfare to the day’s sponsors.

Also contributing to the walk’s success was a dedicated group of local sponsors, including Carter Bloodcare, Somerset Custom Homes, Overhead Door Corporation and Loomis Fargo, who gave generously to Great Strides.