WHITE ROCK - A local family is well on its way to raising a cool $100,000 as part of next month's Parksinson SuperWalk in Surrey.
The "Hike for Hank" fundraising campaign involves Henry and Laura Block, their seven children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"Hank" Block was behind the big Block Brothers real estate and development enterprise (later known as NRS) from the 1950s to 1970s. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's 12 years ago.
Five weeks ago, the Block family began fundraising as the "Hike for Hank" team, with the goal of raising the most money in Canada during the Parkinson SuperWalk, set for Sept. 9 at Bear Creek Park.
Laura first saw an ad for the event in a Parkinson Society of B.C. newsletter, and Henry insisted they get involved to raise funds to combat the disease, and also raise awareness about it.
The family aims to raise $50,000 in team sponsorship, with all funds to be matched by Henry, now 86.
Before the Blocks got involved, the fundraising goal for SuperWalk across the entire province was $325,000.
"We really do like to stay challenged and active, and our team is united in fighting the disease that has taken so much from us," said Laura.
To date, the "Hike for Hank" team has raised more than $28,000. Campaign updates are posted online at laura.hikeforhank.com, while info about the Sept. 9 event is at www.parkinsonsuperwalk.ca.
Henry's son, John, says that despite his dad's physical challenges, he still wants to make a difference in people's lives.
"I have to tell you that I was very surprised that Dad wanted to put himself out there, despite his disability," John said. "He is a source of inspiration to all who know him.... It's always been important to Dad to support the community that has been good to him and his family."
It is estimated that 11,000 British Columbians live with Parkinson's, a degenerative neurological disorder.