NJ Walks for TS at Princeton returns to Mercer County on Sunday, March 29th. The 5K walk/family fun run will take place at Mercer County Park (East Picnic Area) in West Windsor. The second annual walk is growing, and Tess Kowalski of Plainsboro is at the center of what promises to be a powerful day.
NJ Walks for TS originated in 2011 in Morris County and last year the 15-year-old and her father, Tim, brought NJ Walks to the Princeton area. This year, she leads an impressive Honorary Committee and youth co-chairs.
This year’s Honorary Committee will be co-chaired by District 14 Senator Linda Greenstein and Assemblyman Daniel Benson. They are joined by District 7 Senator Dianne B. Allen and Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr., and Princeton mayor Liz Lempert. This list is expected to grow in the days ahead.
“Their support means so much to NJCTS and the 20,000 kids with Tourette Syndrome in New Jersey,” said NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary vocal or muscle movements known as tics. TS is frequently accompanied by ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression or learning disorders. As many as 1 in 100 people show signs of TS, however, the disorder remains misunderstood and misdiagnosed in the medical community. Proceeds from NJ Walks will benefit the Education Outreach Programs of NJCTS which train healthcare professionals, educators and students across the state.
“Each dollar will make a difference in helping us improve diagnosis, treatment and life for kids with TS and their families,” said Rice, “We are also working in schools to spread an effective anti-bullying message of awareness and acceptance that benefits all students and training a new generation of youth leaders, but we can’t do it without support.”
“You don’t have to know about it [TS] to walk,” but should , said Tess ” because it feels good, it’s a nice thing to do”
Just like the Honorary Committee, the NJ Walks for TS at Princeton Youth Co-chairs are also spreading the word. In addition to Tess, the Youth Co-chairs include, Ethan Lederman of Howell, Hallie Hoffman of Belle Mead, and Anna Heicklen of Medford Lakes.
NJ Walks for TS at Princeton will feature activities for families, music and an atmosphere of acceptance for all ages. Registration is $22.50 now through February 28th, after then it will be $25. Donations will be accepted online for individuals and teams – regardless of event attendance. Sponsorships are still available for corporations, small businesses and individuals by calling 908-575-7350. For more information about Tourette Syndrome and the work of NJCTS visit www.njcts.org.