ALS of Utica, Sitrin Bring New Life to Beloved Local Event

7 February 2017

Utica’s ALS Walk is back and better than ever thanks to a partnership between ALS of Utica and the Sitrin Health Care Center, who will be hosting a new version of the event this spring to benefit individuals with ALS and Huntington’s Disease.

The First Annual Sand Dollar Stroll, presented in partnership by ALS of Utica and Sitrin NeuroCare, will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Todd and Jen Hutton Sports and Recreation Center (the Dome). The event will feature a two-mile walk, fun activities for families and children, a silent auction, and fundraising incentives for individuals and teams. Proceeds from the Sand Dollar Stroll will equally benefit ALS of Utica and Sitrin’s NeuroCare Program.

In addition to honoring the many local families affected by ALS and Huntington’s Disease, this inaugural event will honor the DePerno Family for their countless efforts to help the ALS community. Sherry DePerno founded ALS of Utica in 2003 in memory of Carolyn DePerno (1941-1999), who lost her battle to ALS at 58 years of age, just four months after being diagnosed.

The sand dollar was chosen as the event’s name and logo because of its special meaning to Carolyn DePerno, as it was associated with fond memories of the beach, ocean and family. In addition, when a sand dollar is broken open, five “doves” are released from the delicate shell, each said to represent peace and happiness.  

The ALS of Utica Walk, a popular event that was crucial in helping local families affected by ALS, raised more than $750,000 throughout its 10-year history.

“For two years the ALS Walk has been missed by this community,” said Sherry DePerno, founder and executive director of ALS of Utica. “It was always my hope that someone would come forward to help ALS of Utica bring this beloved community event back. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Sitrin on this, it is going to help so many families in need.”

“Sitrin is honored to collaborate with ALS of Utica to pick up where it left off and together, reinvent this cherished local event,” said Christa Serafin, Sitrin president and CEO. “We are very grateful for this opportunity and look forward to helping even more families affected by ALS and Huntington’s Disease through this partnership.”

ALS of Utica and the Sitrin Health Care Center are not-for-profit organizations.