“Walk With Me event focuses on ability, not disability” – The Courier, 15 September 2013

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Bec, Sarah and Hannah
Bec Paton with her children, Hannah and Sarah, at the Walk With Me event at Lake Wendouree.

BALLARAT’S Bec Paton threw her support behind Lake Wendouree’s first Walk With Me event yesterday to celebrate the achievements of people with a disability.

Ms Paton caught up with some familiar faces and even made new friends during the non-competitive walk around the lake foreshore, with daughters Sarah, 7, and Hannah, 5, by her side.

Sarah has Pallister-Killian Syndrome which renders her unable to walk, talk or chew.

Ms Paton said Sarah required full support and had just been accepted into Scope’s Calkendren Respite Centre in Otway Street.

“As part of the local disability community, I think it’s important to support events like this because it’s important we all support each other.”

A national event, Dick Smith Walk With Me raises awareness that one in four Australians are affected by disability, while also raising funds for not-for-profit disability service provider Scope.

Nearly 150 participants signed up for yesterday’s Ballarat walk.

Scope chief executive officer Jennifer Fitzgerald said it was a celebration of ability, not disability.

“These are amazing people, full of spirit and energy, and it’s great to be able to celebrate that,” she said.

The day finished with family fun activities, including face painting, a kids’ club and a barbecue.