Walk to raise awareness for Alzheimers

Raising awareness for Alzheimer’s begins with a simple step. That simple step will mark the start of the two-mile annual Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, walkers from Lynchburg and surrounding areas are expected to participate in the Memory Walk at Riverside Park, an event that is critical in raising money to fund research, care, support and treatment for those impacted by Alzheimer’s.

The walk is the main event of the day, which will be filled with activities and entertainment for all ages including an engaging act by local magician Anthony Vorce. There will be activities for kids and even a deejay, according to Alzheimer’s Association Constituents Relations Director Mary Sandridge “(The walk is) the largest fundraiser that the Alzheimer’s Association has to promote their research,” 2010 Memory Walk Planning Committee chair Erica Shahinian-Miller said.
Participants may sign up for the event by registering online. Individuals can sign up in groups or individually. Each individual and team sets a fundraising goal that they try to raise amongst themselves.

“Because it’s so easy to sign up and get involved with the association, we find that a lot of times it leads to an awareness of the services that the association offers,” Shahinian-Miller said.

Shahinian-Miller also said that some people may be approached at work or by friends or family to get involved with the association, and then they find that years later they have become one of the demographic areas that is served by the association. They have a family member that is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

“Unfortunately the statistics say that if you don’t know someone who is affected now, you will in the future,” Shahinian-Miller said. “The more support we can garner from college students the faster we could probably find a cure.”

The opening ceremonies for the walk will start at 9 a.m. and the actual walk will start at 10 a.m.  In between those times the Liberty University Women’s Basketball team is expected to lead warm-ups. Also the Liberty Christian Academy Band is set to perform during the opening and closing ceremonies.

While last year’s walk raised $76,847, this year’s goal is $86,000.

For more information or to sign up for a team, visit the Association’s website at alz.org/cwva, visit lynchburgmemorywalk.com or call 540-345-7600. More information also be obtained by contacting Mary Sandridge at mary.sandridge@als.org or by calling 434-973-6122.

KOPPENHAVER is a feature reporter.

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