Hundreds of walkers turn out for annual event to raise awareness about food allergies

SHAWNEE, Kan. - About 375 people took a stroll through Shawnee Mission Park on Saturday morning, motivated by a mission to raise awareness about food allergies.

It was part of the annual walk to benefit Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).

A lot of teams came decked out in their custom-made t-shirts or head gear.

Mascots like the Royals' Slugerrr were on hand to help kids practice using Epi-pens, the potentially life-saving medication for allergic reactions.

Parents said it was important to help people realize food allergies are real, and they can be deadly.

"It's extremely important for us because this is a way of life," Leslie McKinley, whose seven-year-old son, Liam, has food allergies, explained. "This is a way of advocating for Liam and teaching him ways to advocate for himself."

The event raised approximately $27,000, according to organizers. The funds will help put a "Safe at School" kit in the hands of every nurse in a Kansas City area school district.

41 Action News investigative reporter Ryan Kath, who has two daughters with peanut allergies, was the media chair for the event. He presented FARE with a $1,000 volunteer grant awarded by the E.W. Scripps Foundation.

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