By JENNIFER K. BAUER
It’s an opportunity many people have fantasized about: You’re given a shopping cart and 3 minutes to run through the aisles of a store throwing in as much as you can.
These shopping sprees are rare, but at 8:30 a.m. June 25, a crowd will gather to watch the winner of a raffle tackle the shelves of Grocery Outlet in Lewiston. The person can collect up to $1,000 worth of food, including meat.
The event is a fundraiser for Rock Steady Boxing LC Valley, a nonprofit exercise therapy group for people with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s is an incurable and progressive neurological disease that causes tremors and muscle rigidity. Studies have shown that forced exercise reduces symptoms. Rock Steady Boxing LC Valley is part of an international organization that promotes special exercises based on noncontact boxing techniques.
Elaine Roberts, 63, of Lewiston, joined the local program about 10 months ago and said it has helped her immensely.
“For one thing it gave me hope, and it has given me the support of other people who have similar symptoms. The workout is hard and strenuous, but it’s worth it. My shoulder muscles are pulling back instead of hunching forward. I feel like I walk straighter. We jump rope, and when I started I couldn’t jump twice; now I can jump 30 times.”
The group is raising money to buy equipment and eventually expand to its own building. The fundraiser helps keep membership costs low so the program is accessible to people of varying income levels, Roberts said. The group is growing quickly and is moving this month from Jackson’s Boxing Gym in Lewiston to a larger space at Crossfit LC Valley.
“If anyone knows someone with Parkinson’s, they should refer them to us,” Roberts said.
Raffle tickets for the shopping spree are $10 each or three for $25 and are on sale through June 17 at Grocery Outlet, 117 Thain Rd., or by calling Tansy Miller at (208) 816-0674 or Roberts at (208) 305-7160.
A public drawing to pick the winner will take place at 10 a.m. June 20 at the store. People can watch the shopping spree at 8:30 a.m. June 25 at an event in which they can meet members of Rock Steady Boxing LC Valley.