Hope, health and harmony will combine at the second Walk with Walgreens Family Fun Day and Health Fair this weekend, where singer/songwriter Crystal Bowersox will give an acoustic performance, presented by LifeScan, Inc. makers of the OneTouch Brand of blood glucose monitoring systems for people with diabetes.

To be held on Saturday, March 24 at Central Broward Regional Park, the event will benefit the Diabetes Research Institute – the best hope for a cure for the 26 million people living with this disease, including Bowersox, who has type 1 diabetes. The festivities, which are being presented by LifeScan and Neutrogena SunCare, begin at 8 a.m.

For months, Walgreens of South Florida has been encouraging customers, employees and community members to participate in the Walk throughout stores and via a dedicated website. More than 5,000 people are expected to participate simultaneously at five locations.

“Promoting good health in our community is part of the Walgreens Way, as we say. And there’s no better way to promote it than to get out there ourselves and do it,” said Roy Ripak, market vice president of Walgreens. “What’s more is we’re also walking to help find a cure for diabetes, which affects so many of us and our families.”

Thousands of participants will enjoy a fun-packed morning of exercise, activities and entertainment at the Central Broward location. Bowersox is one of music’s most talented new artists. Her debut album, Farmer’s Daughter, was released in December 2010 and her second album will be released later this year. Bowersox, 26, is insulin dependent and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was six years old. As a nationally-recognized singer/songwriter she strives to inspire people with diabetes to live their dreams. She is expected to perform after the walkathon and will continue to delight fans during a session of meet and greets.

Also available for autographs will be Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, as well as former Dolphins players. Kids of all ages will be attracted to a carnival tent filled with games like ring toss, balloon dart, prize wheel, milk can toss, basketball and more. Balloon artists and face painters will entertain the little ones, while a touchdown bungee run, airbrush tattoos, and water balloon races will enthrall others. Walgreens pharmacists will be on hand, as will representatives from various health-related vendors.

“Last year, we were so impressed by the efforts Walgreens made to create this fundraiser for us. It is exciting to see the event, as well as our partnership, grow,” said Robert A. Pearlman, president and CEO of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. “And we couldn’t be more thrilled to have a well-known diabetes advocate like Crystal Bowersox perform for everyone.”

Beginning at 8 a.m., participants can check in and receive a free t-shirt. Bagels, fruit, coffee and other refreshments will be offered before attendees warm up with Zumba and start walking at approximately 9 a.m. Once they return to the starting point, walkers will refuel with a wide variety of lunch offerings. The fun will continue until noon. Lucky raffle winners will take home a 50" plasma TV, among other fantastic prizes.

Central Broward Regional Park is located at 3700 N.W. 11th Place in Lauderhill. To view the other locations or to pre-register, visit WalgreensWalkDRI.org. South Florida residents can also support the DRI by purchasing scannables at Walgreens stores between Port St. Lucie and Key West.

The Diabetes Research Institute leads the world in cure-focused research. As the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to shrink the timeline toward the discovery of a biological cure for this disease. Having already shown that diabetes can be reversed through islet transplantation, the DRI is building upon these promising outcomes by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies. The Diabetes Research Institute was created for one reason – to cure diabetes – which is and will continue to be its singular focus until that goal is reached. For the millions of people affected by diabetes, the DRI is the best hope for a cure. Call the DRI Foundation at 800-321-3437 or visit DiabetesResearch.org to learn more.

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