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

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

The Lowdown on the Magna Hoedown

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WHAT A WEEKEND! The Magna Hoedown was nothing short of a success! With Walk It Off Recovery as first time participants in the Hoedown, we were blown away by the event and thoroughly enjoyed being there as volunteers and as event-goers.

From the moment you stepped onto the Magna grounds you felt as if you were in the middle of the Wild, Wild West. The grounds were transformed for Hoedown with live cattle grazing outside the tent, corn stalks, hay bales and seasonal flowers accenting the event area, and event-goers sporting their finest plaid and cowboy accessories. Inside, guests enjoyed the mouth-watering Texan spiced buffet as the musicians showed off their talents and sparked the dancing and singing to commence.  The crowds were thrilled by the varied musical acts and (line) danced the night away! 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

6th Annual 5K Run-Walk-&-Roll Event May 28th at Ferry Lake

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6TH ANNUAL 5K RUN-WALK-&-ROLL
SUPERHERO THEME
When: May 28, 2016
Where: Fairy Lake Park, Newmarket, ON

5K Registration
Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities

With the official arrival of spring, and hopefully the beginning of warm and sunny weather, comes the start of outdoor running season.  Walk It Off is excited to announce that on Saturday May 28, 2016 we will be hosting our 6th Annual 5K Run-Walk-&-Roll event!

Whether you are looking to shed some pent up hibernation energy and walk with friends and family, run a personal best, or sponsor one of the clients of Walk It Off, our Run-Walk-&-Roll is the event for you!  Sign up here! Continue reading

Walk It Off Adds Registered Kinesiology to the List of Health Care Services Provided

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Walk It Off is proud to announce that two of our SCI Recovery Trainers, Rebecca and Taylor, are officially Registered Kinesiologists!

In September, both trainers wrote their entry-to-practice exam with the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario (COKO). We are very pleased to announce that after enduring a painful wait period, both Rebecca and Taylor were informed they passed the exam and we are happy to add Registered Kinesiology (R.Kin) to the list of health care professions we can offer at Walk It Off along with Physiotherapy, Registered Massage Therapy and Personal Training.

You’re probably thinking, “What exactly is a Kinesiologist and what can they do for me?” Well, you were not the only one thinking that so we decided to explain it with a blog! Continue reading

Walk It Off Clients Participate in 2015 Parapan Am & Pan Am Activities

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Kevin Mills
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With the beginning of fall we get ready for a new season and reflect on the summer we just had. One of the highlights of this past summer must be the excitement from Toronto hosting the 2015 Parapan Am and Pan Am Games. The Parapan Am games were a great stage to demonstrate the abilities and talents of paraplegic and quadriplegic athletes from around the world. The Parapan Am games are a fantastic example of how different impairments, skill sets and competencies can be the winning combination for podium-placing performance. I think it’s fair to say that seeing athletes of all different abilities competing in many different sports caused a bit of “panamania” here at Walk It Off. From Canada placing second in overall medal count and our very own Anita Kaiser in the PanAm torch relay to Kevin Mills being asked to participate in the Parapan Am torch relay and complete a handcycling demonstration at McMaster University, it’s hard to not get excited about it! Continue reading

ICARE – Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical

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If you have been to or talked to anyone at Walk It Off in the past few months, you have probably heard about a new machine we are trying to purchase called the Madonna ICARE. But what is it? An Apple product sponsored by the ‘Like A Virgin’ singer? The Madonna ICARE actually stands for: Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical.

This piece of equipment differs from a typical gym elliptical machine by allowing individuals with varying disabilities the opportunity to stand and take strides safely. A harness is used to support the individual while increasing or decreasing the amount of weight that goes into the feet. The ICARE offers the option to exercise with different degrees of motor assistance. The ICARE can be used as a typical elliptical or set to move an individuals legs when the motor senses muscle fatigue. It can also be set in automatic mode for those with complete paralysis. Continue reading

December Donations Discount Member Training/Therapy Fees at WIO

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The holiday season is one for caring, sharing, and being with loved ones. For those of you struggling to find the perfect gift this holiday season, consider giving back and donate to Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery and Wellness Centre. For the month of December, all donations received will go directly towards discounting members’ training and therapy fees. 

Throughout the rest of the year, we put all of the donations received right back into the facility to help purchase new equipment to assist in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) recovery. This helps to subsidize the costs for individuals with spinal cord injuries who participate in SCI Recovery Training and Physiotherapy here. Continue reading