SACKETS HARBOR — There’s just one week left until the north country comes together for the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
The walk will begin on Sept. 14 at Sackets Harbor Central School, 215 S. Broad St. in Sackets Harbor. Registration is set to begin at 9 a.m. in the school gymnasium followed by the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. and the walk at 10:30 a.m.
Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s CNY Chapter CEO, Cathy James, last year’s event raised close to $40,000. She expects to meet and hopefully surpass this year’s goal of $45,000, with progress already over $42,000.
“I think this really shows that the north country is extremely supportive of those living with this disease and those taking care of them, they’re supporting the full mission of the association,” she said. “It’s these dollars that allow us to do what we do.”
Along with remarks from an individual living in the beginning stages of the disease, Sonia Farmer, who will share about why she walks and why the walk is so important to both herself and her family, the event will also feature a Promise Garden, which calls for participants to come together and make a commitment to fulfill their promise to remember, honor, care, and to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Through colored flowers, the hope and personal reasons of why participants are there at the event will be displayed.
On walk day, participants will receive wristbands and have the opportunity to receive a promise flower and write a personal message on it. Participants will be asked to choose the color flower that best represents their connection to the disease:
— Blue represents someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
— Purple is for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease.
— Yellow represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.
— Orange is for everyone who supports the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.
In addition to the three-mile walk, which starts at the school and goes around the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, participants will learn more about Alzheimer’s Association programs, visit with corporate sponsors like Watertown Savings Bank and Seniors Helping Seniors, and meet others joining in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Dance World studio will lead a pre-walk warm up and emcee services will be provided by Webb Foote of Froggy 97.
The event has been held in Sackets Harbor for several years now, and Ms. James said it’s a beautiful walk and spectacular to see everyone out there, a sea of purple supporters. She also spoke highly of those who volunteer their time for the cause.
“We couldn’t put on an event of this size if we didn’t have outside of the committee a core group of volunteers doing everything from directing to registering, they’re really a great group,” she said.
More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease — the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. In New York alone, there are 400,000 people living with the disease and more than 1 million caregivers.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
The Alzheimer’s Association also provides free tools and staff support to help participants reach their fundraising goals for their events. While there is no fee to register for next Saturday’s event, the association encourages participants to fundraise in order to contribute to the cause and raise awareness.
“One of the things with these events which is heartwarming to me is you see people coming back each year and bringing additional people like their friends, family, and co-workers,” Ms. James said. “That’s what really helps it grow and each year we come together we’re talking steps closer to being able to end the disease.”
All funds raised through Walk to End Alzheimer’s further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. The walk is a rain or shine event and will only be cancelled in the case of extreme weather.
“They do say it takes a village, and we couldn’t do this without the support across the country,” Ms. James said. “Watertown and the north country are stepping up big time in fostering hope in the face of this devastating disease, and we’re all walking for the first survivor.”
For more information about the event contact event staff at (315) 472-4201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.