On October 8, over 200 Towne employees gathered on the Boardwalk in Virginia Beach to “Stomp Out ALS” at the 10th annual JT Walk and Country Music Beach Party.
The JT Walk is a charity event that raises proceeds to fund ALS research. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a degenerative motor neuron disease that reduces muscle functionality.
The walk also raises money for community projects such as JT’s Grommet Island Beach Park & Playground for EveryBODY and the Development of JT’s Camp Grom, a disability-friendly adventure camp designed for wounded veterans, families of the fallen, and adults and children with disabilities or special needs.
To date, the JT Walk has raised millions to benefit ALS research and patient services.
Together, the Towne Family raised over $35,000 for the charity in honor of this year’s walk. TowneBank Mortgage helped raise nearly $8,000 ahead of the walk through its team, “Mortgage Warriors for Beth.”
The team is named for Beth Prever, who recently lost her fight to ALS on August 11th. Beth was instrumental in helping raise almost a million dollars for the JT Walk since her involvement began in 2009. She even helped develop the walk’s business model, where sponsoring businesses would pull together teams to raise more money for the cause. In April 2016, in an ironic twist of fate, Beth was diagnosed with ALS Disease.
“There are no words to express what Beth was,” said Kim Pate, Senior Vice President and Director of Residential Construction Lending at TowneBank Mortgage. “She was a warrior, and she truly was fearless. She never met a challenge she wasn’t ready to take on, and I think if we can all truly live like her—that’s something to aspire to.”
This year’s JT Walk and Beach Party was particularly meaningful for Kim, who led the Mortgage Warriors for Beth in walking in her memory.
“The JT Walk is such an amazing event. It’s such a fully rounded charity that goes towards much more than just ALS,” said Kim Pate, Senior Vice President and Director of Residential Construction Lending at TowneBank Mortgage.
It was Beth who inspired Kim to become more involved with the JT Walk and to give up more of her time to support those who need it the most.
“People should find someone to buddy up with, someone who will make them a better person. Beth was that person for me. She did not take no for an answer, and she lived to the fullest to the bitter end,” Kim said. “I think that people need to find a cause—whatever it is, and it takes a village to accomplish it, just like it takes a village to get a mortgage loan closed.”
But it wasn’t just Kim that Beth inspired.
“I think that Beth has touched the hearts of every Towne Family member or employee. She encouraged everyone to give up their time and give up their money,” Kim said. “Beth was a bulldog raising money for this cause. She was just one of those people you didn’t say no to,” Kim said.
Although Kim will never understand Beth’s cruel and ironic diagnosis, she knows that Beth’s legacy will live on, and she will always encourage people to #LiveLikeBeth.
To read more about Beth’s story or to make a donation to #StompOutALS, click here.