On Saturday, Utah is slated to become either the first state, or one of the first few states, to inaugurate a new kind of nonprofit medical fund-raiser - a "joint parade."
Sugarhouse Park will host the event, which is designed to raise money for orthopedic medical research and training and to allow people to celebrate their improved quality of life due to orthopedic care.Many of the paraders may be people who have had orthopedic surgery or other medical care for joint problems.
Registration starts at 8 a.m., with the milelong, noncompetitive walk at 9 a.m. Food, prize drawings and a health fair begin at 10 a.m.
The event is being held nationwide, with the goal of raising $2 million for orthopedic research and for continuing medical education.
Utah's parade will be on Saturday, while most of the other 47 states participating will hold theirs on Sunday. The joint parade is expected to become an annual event across the nation.
"Many people have a replaced hip or knee with an artificial joint or had some sort of surgery dealing with bones, ligaments, tendons or muscles," said Dr. G. Lynn Rasmussen, orthopedic surgeon at the Orthopedic Speciality Hospital, 5849 S. 300 East, Murray. The hospital is a sponsor of the Utah joint parade.
"Artificial joints have dramatically improved over the last 10 years, allowing people who otherwise might be in wheelchairs the opportunity to get around and often resume an active lifestyle."
Linn Griffith, who is handling publicity for the parade through the Mary Kay Lazarus public relations firm, said the first people asked to participate were contacted through orthopedic medical providers' offices. But the parade hopes to attract Boy Scout groups and people from throughout the community.
"It's kind of like a walk-a-thon where they're asking people to go out and get pledges and sponsors," Griffith said. "When people raise at least $10 worth, they get T-shirts, fanny packs, free food and they're eligible for drawings."
One of the drawings will be for a certificate for a $1,000 treadmill, he added.
Registration forms are available at the Orthopedic Speciality Hospital and University Hospital, 50 N. Medical Drive. Call 269-4181.