Lupus Detroit held its fourth annual Walk For Warriors this past Saturday, Sept. 3 at New Center Park in the heart of midtown Detroit. Sponsored by United Healthcare, the event drew approximately 600 participants. It included a one-mile walk, decorative face painting, massage tables, balloon stations, raffles, a silent auction, and a live performance from local R&B recording artist Tem Lemay. Detroit’s WXYZ meteorologist Denise Isaac served as the event’s emcee along with the president and founder of Lupus Detroit, Sharon Harris. The Foundation successfully exceeded their goal of $30K this year with over $32K raised for those diagnosed with Lupus throughout metro Detroit; those funds will assist the “lupus warriors” who are in need by offering financial grants, resources and other programs. The Lupus walk participants and attendees proudly paraded around New Center Park wearing smiles and Lupus Detroit t-shirts while enjoying food, laughter and support.
United Healthcare awarded mountain bikes to the top fundraisers of the Lupus Detroit Foundation. They were:
Darius Mitchell-$1,685 raised with 51 supporters
Sharon Harris (founder of Lupus Detroit) –$1,450 raised with 16 supporters
Sung Seu– $1,193 raised with 37 supporters
April Martin- $600 raised with 2 supporters
Shana Jones- $425 raised with 12 supporters
Many of the Lupus Walk participants with the Lupus condition such as Detroit native, Pamela Hill, shared their testimonies about how the Lupus Walks keep their spirits high while they fight the disease. Diagnosed with Lupus for 30 years, Hill stated that events such as Lupus Detroit have helped her come to terms with “not being normal as everyone else” and that it takes a community to uplift each other while adding solutions to the Lupus Detroit cause.
The Lupus Detroit raffle awarded winners with prizes such as hygiene gift baskets, kitchen accessories, a panini maker, an overnight stay at Fire Keepers Casino with dinner for two, a pair of antique earrings and a gourmet popcorn tin can.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body).
Lupus Detroit will hold their first annual gala at Motor City Casino in May of 2017. Visit lupusdetroit.org for more information.