Whether you can show up to walk in person in Asheville or are interested in organizing a walking team in your neighborhood, or can only follow along online on race day, the enthusiasm to help end Alzheimer’s is welcome and encouraged when supporters turn out to battle the disease on Saturday, Oct. 9.
The Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter will host what has become the parent organization’s largest and most popular fundraiser. The Memory Walk to End Alzheimer’s has been gaining strength every year since the first event was held 32 years ago.
Funds raised during the event benefit research and support assistance for caregivers.
Next month, walkers will descend on Pack Square Park to participate in a poignant Promise Garden Ceremony, Walk check-in and Opening Ceremony.
“We invite the community to join us in taking steps for Alzheimer’s disease. More than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia,” said Katherine Lambert, CEO of the Western Carolina Chapter. “With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association provides care and support to families, while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”
On Walk day, participants will honor those affected by Alzheimer’s with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony — a mission-focused experience that signifies solidarity in the fight against the disease. The colors of the Promise Garden flowers represent people’s connection to Alzheimer’s — their personal reasons to end the disease.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is moving forward, and we’re offering options for supporters to join us at our local event or Walk From Home in their own neighborhoods,” said Lambert. “No matter where people walk, their health and safety are our top priorities.”
The Asheville Walk will implement safety protocols, including physical distancing, contactless registration, hand sanitizing stations and more. Masks are welcome and will be available on site.
The Alzheimer’s Association will continue to closely monitor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local guidelines to ensure Walk events adhere to recommendations and are safe for attendees. Options also will be offered to participate online and in local neighborhoods. Those who prefer to walk from home can engage in many Walk-day experiences through the Alzheimer’s Association’s website and mobile app.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association — Western Carolina Chapter data, more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – a leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 11 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In North Carolina alone, there are more than 180,000 people living with the disease and 358,000 caregivers.
Tune Up Your Walking Shoes
Race check-in will open at 9 a.m., followed by an Opening Ceremony at 10 a.m. The route will open at check-in time to allow teams to start walking when they are ready.
To sign up as a walker or team captain, or to learn more about becoming a sponsor of Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Asheville, visit act.alz.org/Asheville or call 800-272-3900.
In Western North Carolina
The Western Carolina Chapter is part of The Alzheimer’s Association, a worldwide voluntary health group. The WNC chapter provides patient and family services, information and referral, education, and advocacy in 49 central and Western North Carolina counties. It offers opportunities to get involved and to make a difference, in addition to a variety of services, including a 24/7 helpline, support groups, educational programs, and MedicAlert.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease or the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter, visit www.alz.org/northcarolina, or call 800-272-3900.
The Alzheimer’s Association will hosts 17 walks across North Carolina this year, including: Alamance County, Asheville, Charlotte, Gaston/Cleveland/Lincoln Counties, Fayetteville, Guilford County, Henderson County, Hickory, Iredell County, Jacksonville, Moore County, Mount Airy, New Bern, Rowan-Cabarrus Counties, Triangle (Raleigh and Durham), Wilmington and Winston-Salem.
To register and receive the latest updates on any of this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit: alz.org/walk.