Sweet Steps Walk Thursday to support diabetes research

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is holding a kick-off ice cream social event for the Sweet Steps Walk to Cure Diabetes from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Fitness Center at the Masonic Care Community, 2150 Bleecker St., Utica. An awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m.

"The walk committee chooses a youth, teen and adult person from the community to be walk ambassadors to show that diabetes does not discriminate among sex, race, age or gender," said Diane Butler, Sweet Steps chairperson. "We are very excited to continue this walk in the Mohawk Valley to raise money in search of a cure for Type 1 diabetes." Walk ambassadors will be introduced during the kick-off.

Youth ambassador Tyler Kinne, 8, a twin, resides in Vernon Center with his parents, Mark and Marny Kinne.

Teen ambassador Claire Kondella resides in Rome with her mother, Amy Kondella. Kondella was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 10 and is a high honor student at Rome Free Academy. She is active in the marching band.

Adult ambassador Tom Luley, of Utica, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 48 years ago. Luley, a father of four and a grandfather of four, is an avid runner.

There are an estimated 1,000 local children and 24 million Americans living with diabetes.

For more information about the kick-off event or the Sweet Steps Walk to Cure Diabetes, call 281-5598 or e-mail dolphinbutler6@gmail.com.