jOE and the crew getting it done

thanks folks

September 16, 2008
By AMY LAVALLEY Post-Tribune correspondent

VALPARAISO -- Last year, the first Spinal Cord Injury Walk/Roll/Ride drew more than 180 people and raised about $15,000.

This year, the event's organizer and founder of the Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Group hopes the fund-raiser will be even bigger.

"It's amazing to me how receptive the public is to this cause. There are so many people who have a close connection to it," said Valparaiso resident Joe White. "That's what made me want to do it again this year -- the feedback I got made me realize it was well worth the time and the effort."

This year's event will be held Sunday at Old Fairgrounds Park. In addition to food, music and other festivities, the fund-raiser also includes a poker run, which will end at Martini's.

White is anticipating close to 300 people this year, including those who took part last year and the new participants who have contacted him in the weeks leading up to the walk. That will mean more money raised by the event.

"(Last year) we split it up three ways. One-third of it went to research; one-third of it went to advocacy; and one-third of it stayed with the group to facilitate activities and things like that," White said.

White suffered a spinal-cord injury in July 2003 that left him a paraplegic, paralyzed from the waist down.

In the years since his accident, White has started the Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Support Group, and has become increasingly active in raising awareness about spinal-cord injuries.