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ADA kicks off annual fundraising campaign
New slogan aimed at younger participants
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ADA breakfast

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The American Diabetes Association has a new look and name for it's annual fundraiser and if Bulloch County reaches its goal, the chairman of this year's campaign will have a new look as well.
    Mark Hynko, chairman of this year's fundraiser, said he would shave his head if Bulloch County raises $100,000 for the ADA, a goal he says is possible.
    "It's definitely within our reach," he said Friday at the kickoff breakfast for the event.
    The campaign has changed its name to "Step Out to Fight Diabetes" as a way to not only hopefully attract younger participants, but to signify the urgent need to find a cure for diabetes.
    "I think it's a cry for action" said Maria Center, director of the ADA.
    The most visible aspect of the fundraiser is the annual five kilometer walk, which is scheduled for October 6 at Mill Creek Park, but there are other events planned leading up to the walk.
    Among those are the popular Ducks for Diabetes race at Splash in the Boro and a clay shoot.
    Hynko was thrilled with the turnout for Friday's breakfast, which had approximately 35 people attend, which was almost three times as many people as attended last year.
    "Two weeks ago, we only had 11 people signed up to attend, so to have this many people here is great," he said.
    This year's kickoff is earlier than it has been in the past, Hynko said, because they wanted to give teams more time to meet and come up with ways to raise money. He also said they wanted to start earlier to keep the enthusiasm level for a longer period of time leading up to the walk.
    The 2006 campaign collected $75,000, part of the more than $40 million raised nationwide for diabetes research and education.
    Nearly 21 million people in the United States have diabetes, including about 6.5 million who don't know they have the disease.
    Center said 1.5 million people are diagnosed annually with the disease and it's continuing to increase across the country due to a number of factors.
    "We have a population that is aging and we have a lot of people who are overweight, inactive and have poor nutrition," she said. "That leads to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and other problems."
    Center said lifestyle changes including exercise and better nutrition are needed to prevent a lot of those problems.
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