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TOPS, Safeway conduct book drive for muscular dystrophy

Members of Washington TOPS Chapter 433 in Arlington are conducting a book drive in the Arlington Safeway, “for the next couple of weeks, or until we run out of books,” according to TOPS 433 member Tami Olsen. -
Members of Washington TOPS Chapter 433 in Arlington are conducting a book drive in the Arlington Safeway, “for the next couple of weeks, or until we run out of books,” according to TOPS 433 member Tami Olsen.
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ARLINGTON — TOPS and Safeway are teaming up to raise funds to fight muscular dystrophy.

Arlington Safeway Manager Rick Blewitt is hosting a book drive, conducted by members of Washington TOPS Chapter 433 in Arlington, “for the next couple of weeks, or until we run out of books,” according to TOPS 433 member Tami Olsen.

Olsen estimates that “hundreds, maybe thousands” of books will be on sale in the Arlington Safeway, at the front of the store near the floral department.

Each book has been donated, free of charge, to raise money for muscular dystrophy, with paperbacks selling for $1 each, and hardbacks selling for $2 each.

“There are books for all ages and interests,” Olsen said. “Come often, because more books are brought out as the current supply is depleted.”

Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases, of which there are several kinds, that usually causes weakness in the muscles closest to the midsection of the body.

Symptoms include weakness and wasting, first in the pelvic muscles, then in the shoulder muscles, and eventually, in the torso and forearms, after which it spreads to the other major muscles of the body.

Depending on the type, muscular dystrophy sufferers may experience difficulty climbing stairs or rising from sitting, as well as repeated falling. As the disease worsens, other abnormalities may develop, such as curvature of the spine, wasting of the thigh muscles, abnormal enlargement of the calves and enlargement of the heart.

TOPS, or Take Off Pounds Sensibly, is a low-cost, non-profit weight-loss support group. The 2006 Washington state queen is a member of the Arlington chapter, and she lost 142 pounds to reach her goal.

“We have programs to help people lose weight sensibly and to maintain a healthy weight,” Olsen said.

The Arlington chapter meets Fridays at 9:45 a.m. in Hadley Hall of the Arlington Boys and Girls Club. For more information, contact Olsen by phone at 360-435-8884, or via e-mail at unity2@prodigy.net. You may also visit the TOPS Web site at www.tops.org.

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