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LHS junior organizes walk in honor of late father

Dave Alessi passed away after a long battle with ataxia, a disease that affects motor coordination, in October of 2011. His son Marc, a junior at Liverpool High School, is planning a walk in his memory at the high school.

Dave Alessi passed away after a long battle with ataxia, a disease that affects motor coordination, in October of 2011. His son Marc, a junior at Liverpool High School, is planning a walk in his memory at the high school.

— Marc Alessi will always remember his father laughing.

“There was not a night when my dad didn’t crack a joke,” the Liverpool High School junior said. “My dad was a hilarious person and loved comedy. One of the most important and recent memories with my dad was watching Kung Fu Panda. We both loved that movie so much and every time it was on we would be watching it. We always loved to joke about the characters and the plot line, and it was just hilarious.”

Marc’s father, Dave, passed away from a rare degenerative disease called spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 on Oct. 4, 2011. In his honor and to raise awareness about the illness that claimed him, Marc has organized the Walk for Dave, which will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 25, at the LHS track.

“People can show up anytime between 8 a.m. and noon,” Marc said. “There is just one flat rate of $10 per person or $25 per family. People will be able to walk the track as much as they like; they could also run if they want to.”

There will be food at the concession stand, face painting and music by DJ Brian Schmidt.

The walk was originally a project for Marc’s health class; he and partner Leah Dixon had the option to write a paper, design and present a slide show or organize a volunteer project.

“I suggested we do our own walk,” Marc said. “It really took off from there. Leah and I were coming up with so many ideas and I knew it would be a success from then on out.”

“It started out as a project, but then I realized how much it meant to Marc that we were doing this for his father,” Dixon said. “So we both began to take it a lot more seriously.”

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