For those of you unfamiliar with this event, it was a fundraising effort by Six Flags to raise money for Cure Kids Cancer, an organization of hospitals across the US that fight childhood cancer. To be specific, the major hospital that belongs to this group in the Midwest is Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, one of the top children's hospitals in the United States. We were asked to register by paying a fee of $25 and then trying to raise as much money as we could possibly can. I set a goal for $150 which I easily hit.
When the day came, every participant got a bag, a shirt, and a bunch of goodies like a bracelet, a knex set, and a little box of honey bunches of oats. We were also given a number for the walk that I wasn't really sure what we were supposed to do with it, but it had a little tear off part that allowed us to give to the ticket sales to have $5 go to the Cure Kids Cancer. We were treated at the beginning to as much cold drinks as we liked and Krispy Creme donuts. Bugs and the Gang were out in full force thanking everybody for their support. There were also people registering for the first time and I bought some raffle tickets with the money going to the overall total for the Cancer Walk.There were alot of families there, especially with cancer patients. I actually have heard of one family from the Super Jake Foundation which was a foundation in memory of their 3 year old that passed away a few years ago from cancer. They wore capes and every kid who was undergoing cancer medication or was in remission, they wore a cape too. It was very touching for my group made up of a 22 year old and two 19 year olds. The topping to this sentimental cake was having the representative child of the Six Flags Great America Walk in the Parks sing the national anthem (quite good). I believe he is in remission so there were some really nice success stories of the day too.
The actual walk had us start at the iconic carosel and took us around the park once and then ending in Hurricane Harbor for the finish and a celebration. At the end, there were the same kind of cold sports drinks from the start and bagels from Panera. The final event was supposed to have entertainment, but there was a tally result and prizes given out. Not a big deal since the two children representatives were there to thank everybody especially the little girl who just was diagnosed with cancer at the end of last spring. To the top three fundraisers (which doesn't include me) was two tickets to the American Music Awards, a Wii, and two free 2009 Season Passes. The raffle included a Batman Electrical Guitar, A large stuffed elephant, a digital camera, and a Chicago Bears BMX bike. I won the camera, but the photos with this report are not from them :)
From there we were told to exit the park via Hurricane Harbor and then we could reenter the park with all other patrons.
For the most part, I was very impressed by this event. I got a little worried since their goal for all the parks together was a million and ended up dropping it to 200,000. SFGA, which was supposed to raise 10,000 after the cut raised 14,000! I really think Six Flags dropped the ball on advertising for this event since the only way you would know it really existed is if you had been to the park prior. I was especially worried because up to a week before the walk, there were only a handful of people walking. It ended up working out OK and there were about 300 people on a beautiful Sunday Morning. The other big concern I had was that there was no discount on tickets for doing this event. I was under the impression that you would have gotten an amount of money off, but that didn't happen. However if you raised more than $100. you got a free ticket and I am a Season Pass Holder so no biggie.
Anyway, I was very impressed and wish it lasted longer, but they also had the High School Cheerleading Competition that day (go Notre Dame!)so SFGA is good at multitasking. I would highly really highly recommend this event to all you theme park lovers out there. It was a perfect day and a great cause. Just be on the lookout for it! I will hope that Six Flags really put out alot of PR for this event next year. I think they could have made the million easily between the parks.
For more information or to give more! Go to: Walkintheparks.org
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