VisionWalk raises funds for ocular disease research

first_imgThe Notre Dame Biology Club will hold the fifth annual ND VisionWalk Sunday to raise money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) in its efforts to find a cure for retinal degeneration and other ocular diseases.Jonathan Jou and Sara Hockney, both senior biology majors, are this year’s walk co-chairs. Jou said University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh served as the inspiration for the first ND VisionWalk in 2010.“Five years ago, there was a student named Maria Sellers, who went to visit Father Hesburgh during his office hours and found out he suffers from retinal degeneration,” Jou said. “She started [ND] VisionWalk [after] speaking to Dr. David Hyde, who does retinal regeneration research.”Retinal degeneration occurs when cells in the back of the eye start to die, and gradually cause loss of all central vision, Hockney said.The event is a five-kilometer walk beginning at the Irish Green, where participants can purchase t-shirts and sunglasses and participate in a silent auction prior to the walk, Hockney said.“Our big seller [in the silent auction] every year is a Notre Dame football helmet,” Jou said.All proceeds from the event go to the FFB, which supports VisionWalks all over the country, Hockney said.The FFB’s mission is to “drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by … the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases,” according to its website.Last year, approximately 200 people, many of whom were residents of the surrounding South Bend community, participated in the event, Hockney said. The co-chairs said they set a course that winds through campus to offer a view of campus for visiting participants.“A lot of people are coming who are not on campus very much [and] who want to go through classic Notre Dame areas,” Hockney said.The past four walks have been successful, and last year’s event raised about $10,000, Jou said. This year, the co-chairmen said they hope to raise at least $13,000.Jou and Hockney have been involved in the event for the past few years and assuming the roles of co-chairmen was very important to them.“Research [in retinal degeneration] is making progress, but [this event] is about raising awareness and getting people involved in a cause you care about,” Hockney, whose grandmother suffers from retinal degeneration, said.“I thought [ND VisionWalk] was a way to get involved with doing things now that are going to make a difference,” she said.Similarly, Jou said the ND VisionWalk allows him to make a bigger, immediate contribution to the medical research field.“It was a way to give back to research field,” he said. “Science is trending toward philanthropic funding. I think that events like these are becoming more and more important and will carry more weight in the future.”Tags: Foundation Fighting Blindness, Macular Degeneration, VisionWalklast_img read more

Asheville’s Bent Creek River Park closed for six weeks for natural gas pipeline replacement

first_imgAccording to the Aspen Times, the knuckle huck is a competition that “allows for, encourages and celebrates the flair, the style and the fun at the heart of snowboarding as riders huck themselves off the “knuckle,” or rollover, of the big air landing before landing in the formal landing area. The park says that each of the three primary entrances near Gatlinburg, Cherokee and Townsend all saw an increase in visitors, but the secondary entrances also helped contribute to the large number. “Secondary park entrances experienced tremendous growth, due primarily to the new section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley,” the park said in a news release. “Over one million visitors enjoyed this new driving experience.” Bent Creek River Park on Brevard Road in Asheville will be closed for up to six weeks while Dominion Energy replaces a natural gas line. Josh O’ Conner, Director of Buncombe County Recreation Services, told WLOS that they worked with Dominion to close the park during the slowest time possible, since Bent Creek River Park is a popular spot for kayakers and tubers to put in during warmer months. Read the full story here: https://wlos.com/news/local/bent-creek-river-park-to-temporarily-close-for-up-to-6-weeks  Read the full story here: https://www.wbir.com/article/entertainment/places/great-smoky-mountains-national-park/great-smoky-mountains-national-park-sets-visitation-record-with-125-million-visitors/51-1c6762a5-cb32-4ee0-aff2-3da87fda17db Great Smoky Mountains National Park breaks visitor record in 2019 Twenty-year-old snowboarder Zeb Powell won gold in Wendy’s Snowboard Knuckle Huck at the X Games in Aspen last week. According to Powell’s Red Bull athlete profile, he grew up skiing at Cataloochee Ski Area where he learned to ride with “creativity, flow and style.” His signature blend, states the website, is “of a super-smooth rail game with shifty spins and tweaked-out grabs.”  Asheville’s Bent Creek River Park closed for six weeks for natural gas pipeline replacement In a statement, Dominion Energy said, “as the regulated natural gas provider in the area, our responsibility is to ensure system reliability and safety in compliance with regulations, and this project is a part of that. We apologize for the inconvenience and will work diligently to complete the project in a timely manner, weather permitting.”  Waynesville, NC native wins Gold at 2020 X Games The country’s most visited national parks keeps getting more popular. In 2019, Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw record visitation numbers, welcoming 12,547,743 visitors. That’s up from a record-breaking year in 2018 which saw 11,421,203 visitors.last_img read more

Keir Starmer elected new UK Labour leader replacing Corbyn

first_imgHe immediately addressed the issue of anti-Semitism that Corbyn was accused of failing to tackle, which tarnished the party’s reputation and caused Jewish members to leave in droves.”Anti-Semitism has been a stain on our party. I have seen the grief that it’s brought to so many Jewish communities,” Starmer said.”On behalf of the Labour Party, I am sorry. “And I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us.”Starmer, who won a resounding 56.2 percent of the vote of Labour members, acknowledged the party had “a mountain to climb”, after four straight general election defeats — two under Corbyn.But he vowed: “We will climb it.”He added: “I will lead this great party into a new era, with confidence and with hope.”So that when the time comes, we can serve our country again in government.”Topics : Starmer, who was Labour’s Brexit spokesman, called his election “the honour and privilege” of his life and vowed to “engage constructively” with Johnson’s Conservative government.Johnson immediately offered his congratulations and the pair spoke, with Starmer accepting an invitation to a government briefing on COVID-19 next week.”Keir offered to work constructively with the government on how best to respond to the coronavirus outbreak,” his spokesman said.Starmer himself vowed to reunite Labour, after deep rifts between supporters of socialist Corbyn’s hard-left ideals and centrists, and wrangling over its Brexit strategy. Pro-European centrist Keir Starmer was on Saturday unveiled as new Labour party leader, heralding a shift in Britain’s main opposition party after a crushing election defeat under veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn and years of ideological infighting. The 57-year-old former chief state prosecutor defeated Corbyn loyalist Rebecca Long-Bailey and backbencher Lisa Nandy in a lengthy campaign sparked by Corbyn’s resignation after December’s loss at the polls to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.Angela Rayner becomes the new deputy leader, Labour announced on Twitter, after it was forced to cancel a special conference because of the coronavirus outbreak.last_img read more