More than 400 people are expected to walk for a cure to a debilitating neurological disorder in September.
On Sept. 10 the Western Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will hold its Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Riverside Park in Mount Airy. The walk kicks off at 10:30 a.m. that day, and registrations are currently being processed.
Additionally, same-day registration begins at 9 a.m. with a ceremony to be held prior to the walk, at 10 a.m. on Sept. 10.
There is no fee for walking in the event. However, registration and a waiver are required, according to the event’s website. Walkers are also asked to make a personal donation to the effort and commit to raising funds.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s fundraising goal for the event has been set at $40,000. As of Friday afternoon, the organization was about 23-percent complete, having raised a little more than $9,000.
A T-shirt is included for all walkers who have raised at least $100 toward the cause. Different colored shirts will represent different interested parties. Blue T-shirts are worn by those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and those who have lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s will wear purple.
The event is open to walkers of all ages and will take place whether the day brings rain or shine.
Kathleen Holland, a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Association, noted last year’s event raised about $32,000 for Alzheimer’s research. She was not sure how long the event has operated in Mount Airy.
The funds go directly toward the organization’s goals of research, education and support. A press release regarding the event touts an Alzheimer’s hotline the organization operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Alzheimer’s Association is “the leading voice for Alzheimer’s.”
The event is also open to teams, and a few local groups have already begun raising big money, according to the event website. Teams from Depaul Twelve Oaks in Galax, Virginia, Chatham Nursing and Rehabilitation and Gentiva in King have already raised more than $1,000 in their efforts.
According to Holland, her organization has the ultimate goal of eliminating Alzheimer’s disease through research, providing and enhancing care and support for all affected and reducing the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
Statistics provided by Holland indicate about 160,000 North Carolina residents suffer from Alzheimer’s. The number is expected to rise, with more than 210,000 cases projected in 2025.
For more information about the Sept. 10 walk, visit the walk’s website at http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2016/NC-WesternCarolina?fr_id=9147&pg=entry.
Additionally, Jessica Wylie, who is coordinating the Mount Airy event, may be reached at (980) 498-7733.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.