VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A crowd of blue and gray lined the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on Sunday.
Today was the 10th Annual JT Walk in honor of Josh Thompson, who was diagnosed with ALS 10 years ago.
The event is hosted by the Virginia Gentleman Foundation.
“This is all his vision that he has,” said Josh’s father Bruce. “He said you know we’re going to work to find a cure for ALS but we’re going to make quality of life for all those suffering with disabilities a major focal point.”
Over the last 10 years, the walk has raised millions of dollars for ALS research and projects like Camp Grom, a new 70 acre handicap-accessible adventure camp in Virginia Beach.
“It just amazes me and humbles me that our community can come together year after year to support this charity event and support the projects that we want to leave behind,” said Andrew Yancey, a chairman of the Virginia Gentleman Foundation.
The event took place a week after a gunman opened fire at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Yancey says people were concerned all week about safety at Sunday’s event.
“We immediately called the City of Virginia Beach and said what do you want us to do? We want our patrons to be safe, to feel like they’re in a safe environment,” he said.
Extra Virginia Beach Police officers, Virginia Beach Sheriff’s deputies, and private security guards were all out today to create a secure atmosphere.
10 On Your Side also spoke with Virginia Beach Police Chief, Jim Cervera, last week about security at this weekend’s events.
He told us that the department also plans for things like this.
Yancey says many still showed up because the event is special for those involved.
“I think the people of Virginia Beach and supporters we have understand how important this is to the community and they continue to come out and do it,” he said.
The JT Walk and Beach Party is the largest single-day walk for ALS in the country.