You could feel the joy in St. Paul on Sunday when more than 100 people gathered for the first in-person MS Walk since 2019.

The bright sunshine didn’t hurt the overall mood, but it was obvious that the positive energy would have come through rain or shine.

Individuals and teams participated in the five-kilometre walk to raise funds that will help people living with Multiple Sclerosis and contribute to MS research. 

Cold Lake – Bonnyville – St. Paul MLA David Hanson and St. Paul mayor Maureen Miller saluted the participants in their remarks before the walk launched. Brenda Rosychuk, Western Canada lead for the annual walk, said the fundraising efforts of so many people in the Lakeland shows the strength of the community.

“I have so many emotions right now, and the one thing I’m super happy about is this community coming back together stronger than ever,” Rosychuk said. “I feel like this is that stepping stone here, where we’re going to rebuild and get back to what we were before the pandemic.”

She and many of the participants were buoyed by their long-anticipated MS Walk reunion almost as much as they were by their unity for the cause.

“We have so many dedicated volunteers, sponsors, and staff who are just behind the mission 100 per cent,” Rosychuk said. “And it’s just amazing to be in the presence of those wonderful people again.”

She said the ultimate goal is to “end MS, and create a world free of MS.”

The sun was bright, but the mood was even brighter as the MS walk stepped off. JEFF GAYE
Walkers were in an exuberant mood at the MS Walk in St. Paul on Sunday. JEFF GAYE
Brenda Rosychuk and James Purdy were among those who addressed the crowd. JEFF GAYE