SIDNEY — There are almost 1,000 people currently living with Alzheimer’s disease in Shelby County alone.
“For each person living with the disease, there are at least three family members impacted, which means that between people living with dementia and their friends and family, more than 3,000 people are impacted in Shelby County,” said Katie Mauch, Miami Valley walk coordinator.
This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s aims to help people become aware of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The walk will be held on Sidney’s Courtsquare on Saturday, Sept. 24. Registration for the walk begins at 9 a.m., with the opening ceremony starting at 10 a.m., and the walk stepping off at 10:15 a.m. The two-mile walk route is be posted on the chapter’s website at http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2016/OH-MiamiValley?fr_id=9228&pg=entry. There also will be a short version of the walk available for those who cannot complete the two mile route.
Upon registration, participants will be asked to choose a pinwheel flower in one of the following colors:
· Purple – you have lost someone to Alzheimer’s
· Orange – you support the cause, but you may not have a direct connection
· Yellow – you are a caregiver for a family/friend or professionally
· Blue – you are living with Alzheimer’s disease
The flowers will be used in the ceremony then walkers may take their flowers along on the walk and home at the end of the event.
The brief ceremony will include a representative of each flower color who will share some of their story dealing with Alzheimer’s. Last year, the planning committee incorporated some new elements to the walk which they will have again this year, including hay bales, kids activities, and Zumba
Last year, the Sidney Walk to End Alzheimer’s doubled in participants to 310.
“This means that we were able to spread awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and local programs and support services in Shelby County to twice as many people,” Mauch said. “Twice as many people were able to get help that they need, twice as many people helped to fundraiser for the Walk, and twice as many people joined in our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
This year their goal is to get 388 people involved, “but why not make it 400!” she said.
Every registered participant who raises a minimum of $100, and turns it in the day of the event, will receive a walk T-shirt.
Last year, they raised $35,981. This year their goal is to raise $40,000. So far they have raised $33,132.32 of that goal.
This year, the top local sponsor is Cargill. “We are so grateful for their support of this event,” Mauch said. Other local sponsors include Dorothy Love Retirement Community, The Pavilion, Elmwood Assisted Living, and Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County.
“Every person who becomes aware of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and every dollar raised for the Alzheimer’s Association, is helping to eradicate this disease worldwide,” Mauch said. “Currently, there is no way to slow, prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease – that is why we need research. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s research worldwide. And that comes from support like right here in Shelby County.”
She said, every 66 seconds, someone else is diagnosed with the disease.
“Alzheimer’s disease is relentless. But so are we. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Every dollar raised goes to support our full mission: research to end this disease, and local care and support services for those currently living with it.”
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825.