Another Successful Year at the 29th Magna Hoedown!

The weekend we’ve all been waiting for has come and gone. Another Hoedown has past, and what a weekend it was! This past September 15th and 16th marked the 29th annual Magna Hoedown. A BIG thank you to the @MagnaHoedown and those who came out this past weekend to support Walk It Off and the other 19 local charities participating. Like previous years, the food, entertainment and overall atmosphere was nothing short of amazing.

On Friday night, you would have had the opportunity to listen to some amazing young local talent during the Hoedown Showdown. It must have been a tough night for the judges because I know we were impressed with each and every one of the competitors, it must have been a difficult task to choose a winner. In the end it was 16 year old John Anderson from Barrie, Ontario that took home the Grand Prize valued at over $20, 000! To learn more about John click here.

Friday night was also a night to showcase 2016 Showdown winner Mac Shepherd and Canadian artist and Headliner Chad Brownlee who did not disappoint. You may have even seen our volunteers from all corners of the venue whether it be in the Junction or the Environmental Helpers jamming out all evening.

On Saturday night, the amazing line-up was The James Barker Band, Dani Strong and John Anderson who opened for Tom Cochrane with Red Rider. Another great night with great music and amazing food. The Texas- Style BBQ Dinner had a range of variety from pulled pork sandwiches, chicken breasts, chilli and salads; made you want to go back for seconds.

Our volunteers really outdid themselves with the effort they put into their tasks. Walk It Off sold a total of 141 books of raffle tickets this year; 41 more than our set goal! At the event we were able to sell 26 books! Unfortunately, the winning ticket was not amongst our allotment of tickets sold. Better luck next year!

A special thank you to Volunteer Coordinator and Walk It Off Board Member Wally Kemp, for finding and organizing volunteers to represent Walk It Off at the Hoedown. You made a big task look easy! Thank you to those from the Walk It Off community who took the initiative to help us with the big task of selling event and raffle tickets; and to those who took time out of their weekend to volunteer at the event itself. You may have met some of our amazing volunteers throughout the weekend roaming around selling tickets, stationed the Junction area, cleaning up or setting up. Cumulatively, all efforts to help an event run smoothly, and for that we are grateful.

Thank You Magna!

In addition, we would like to congratulate the the wonderful coordinating Staff at Neighbourhood Network and our Volunteer coordinator, Tracey Scott for another successful year for the Magna Hoedown. Thank you for putting in countless hours to support your local community and being available for each individual charity throughout this process.

This year’s event was able to raise $534, 000 for twenty local charities serving York Region; and we couldn’t have done it without the support of all of you! This is our second year participating in the Hoedown and we couldn’t be happier!

Stay tuned for the big reveal of our portion of the proceeds and how we will put it to use!

Walk It Off is more than a clinic, it is a community. It is at times like this when we are so proud of how we come together in order to continue to improve our services and equipment. We are thankful for the community that has developed within Walk It Off that continues to support our efforts to provide an affordable cutting edge services to those living with neurological disorders.

You can connect with us by email or telephone or leave a comment right here on the site. Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages and our YouTube Channel too and join in the conversation!

Yeehaw!
Kristina Georgiopoulos
Walk It Off Facility Assistant

Canada Summer Jobs Funding Through Service Ontario

Walk It Off received funding so we could provide the salary and experience to a student during the summer months this year. It was good to have the help of a motivated individual looking to expand their knowledge in their field of education. This year we had the pleasure of hiring

Alanna Jakovljevic. Thank you Service Ontario for this great opportunity!

Alanna’s Experience at Walk It Off

Hello, my name is Alanna. Next year I will be graduating from McMaster University with my Honours Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology. I then wish to pursue my Masters of Physiotherapy. I was very fortunate to receive a student grant this summer at Walk It Off. Working alongside physiotherapists and kinesiologists furthered my knowledge about spinal cord injuries and different rehabilitative techniques. I also had the chance to work with clients who had multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy which gave me insight to other neurological disorders.

I got more hands on experience than I was expecting as all of the clients were very willing to let me work with them. The Neuro-Recovery trainers I worked with were always eager to teach me and to answer any questions I had. One of the many great things about working here was that everyone was open to new ideas, which gave me the opportunity to be creative with exercises during sessions. It was rewarding to see the progress clients made throughout the short duration that I was here. Overall the continuous enthusiasm from both the staff and clients made this a great place to work over the summer.

A Win-Win For All Parties

This really was a win-win situation for both Walk It Off and Alanna.  Not only did we have an additional team member to help our organization, but we are proud to be helping contribute to Alanna’s education by providing more hands on experience than she would otherwise get.

We wish you much success, Alanna, in your final year at McMaster University!

You can connect with us by email or telephone or leave a comment right here on the site. Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages and our YouTube Channel too and join in the conversation!

– WIO Staff

Bring Back the Game with Todd Keirstead – May 5th

Friday, May 5th, 11am-2pm, at the Bradford Highlands Golf Club

Walk It Off is excited to announce that we are teaming up with Todd Keirstead to offer an adapted golfing demonstration! The golf demonstration will take place on Friday May 5th at the Bradford Highlands Golf Club. Todd will work with three groups of participants on the driving range; all ability levels welcome, for an hour each. Continue reading

Walk It Off at the 2017 Abilities Expo Toronto

Walk it off at the 2017 abilities expo toronto

As most of you know, Walk It Off (WIO) participated in the first annual Abilities Expo at the International Centre in Mississauga the weekend of Jan 20-22. The Abilities Expo is a great venue which brings together service and retail providers, the latest technology in adaptation and accessibility, and leisure information all under one roof.

The Expo is geared for individuals living with all types of disabilities – physical, cognitive and learning; and hearing and sight impairment.  In past years, the Expo has visited major American cities such as Boston, Las Vegas, Chicago and Houston. 2017 is the first year the Abilities Expo has come to Canada and we were ecstatic to be a part of it! Continue reading

Walk It Off is a Proud Recipient of the 2016 Magna Hoedown

Walk it Off Fb ImageYEEHAW! Walk It Off is thrilled to announce that we are one of the fifteen organizations selected as a recipient for the 28th Annual Magna Hoedown! For those of you who are not familiar with the Magna Hoedown, it is the largest fundraiser in York Region. The Hoedown is a 2-day event, taking place on September 16th and 17th this year, showcasing musical talent, raffle and door prizes, dancing, dinner and beverages, and tons of entertainment. This year’s headliners are Alan Doyle (of Great Big Sea) on Friday, Sept.16 and Paul Brandt on Saturday, Sept 17. Continue reading

Getting Ready for the Walk It Off 5KM at Ferry Lake on May 28!

5K guy with capeThe 6th Annual 5 km Run-Walk-&-Roll for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery at Ferry Lake on May 28th in Newmarket is quickly approaching!

Sunday, May 28th is just around the corner and all of our clients at Walk It Off are training hard to get prepared for the main event.  We’re working on their strength and endurance to make sure they are ready for what awaits them on the course.  And so they have enough energy for the pancake breakfast and other fun activities we have lined up!

Remember, this 5K is Super Hero Themed, so make sure to bring your cape! Continue reading

Walk It Off Visits Project Walk Orlando!

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As many of you know, our SCI Recovery Trainers, Taylor, Alyssa and Rebecca, went down to Orlando for the last week of January to visit our friends at Project Walk!  If you are unaware of Walk It Off’s origin, Heather and Kevin went down to Project Walk in 2009 shortly after Kevin’s accident.  While at Project Walk, they were amazed by the innovative physical therapy Kevin received that was focused specifically on spinal cord injury recovery.  After their time at Project Walk, Heather and Kevin decided this special type of therapy needed to be available in Canada and that’s how Walk It Off was born. Continue reading

Wheelchairs and Handcycle Racing – 7 Excellent Races

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Hello Everyone.  My name is Kevin Mills and I am the Supreme Chancellor 🙂 at Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery and Wellness Centre. I thought it might be helpful to share with you 7 excellent races for those athletic individuals out there who are currently in wheelchairs. In February of 2009 I myself sustained a spinal cord injury when a wave drove me head-first into the sand while swimming in the ocean in Cuba.  I am a C 5/6 AIS A (quadriplegic).  I was a competitive middle distance runner in high school and I completed my first half marathon in October of 2008, a few months prior to my injury. Continue reading

Preventing Illness in those with Spinal Cord Injuries

preventing illness in spinal cord injury patientsDiet and nutrition play a large role in our body’s everyday functions and overall well being. We have heard sayings such as “healthy body, healthy mind” or “you are what you eat”. As cliché as those sayings may be, there is no denying the truth behind them. As is true with everyone, proper nutrition plays a large part in reducing the occurrence of health concerns or preventing illness particularly for those living with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and more specifically, for those that are commonly related to the injury.

Diet and Prevention of UTI’s

One of the most common secondary health concerns regarding clients/patients with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are urinary tract infections (UTI’s). SCI clients/patients experience a heightened risk of developing UTI’s from the frequent need to perform intermittent catheterization to empty their bladders on a daily basis. The average incidence rate of UTI’s is 10.3 per 1000 catheterizations. Continue reading

‘Total Gym’ Equipment for Spinal Cord Injury Clients at WIO

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click image to enlarge

The Total Gym (TG) is a piece of equipment recognized throughout the fitness community for bodyweight training, functional training, conditioning, and rehabilitation therapy. We are fortunate to have a TG at the Walk It Off facility that was generously donated by the DeHaas Family of Aurora. As you can see in the picture (left), we have one of our Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) clients, Kevin (C5/6 Complete), lying on an angled sled that can slide up and down on a guide rail as the client performs squats. The sled can also be locked in a stationary position. The Total Gym (TG) offers many benefits to a Spinal Cord Injury client because it is adjustable to suit the individual’s physical abilities, needs and exercise goals no matter the level of paralysis. Completing exercises on the TG allows the client to perform movements they would not usually be able to complete, in a safe and controlled manner with the assistance of the SCI Recovery Trainer here at Walk it Off when needed.

Please take a moment to watch this video of a client on the TG. Continue reading