“We walk because we can … and because we need to.” Patricia Alessandra and her husband Michael are walking for a third year in the Buffalo Walk to End Alzheimer’s, organized by the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter.
“I lost my dad, Leo Chambers, to this insidious disease and by walking we lead the fight for the first Alzheimer’s survivor. It may seem a simple thing to do, but walking has a tremendous impact on the fight,” says Patricia. She and Mike, residents of Clarence Center, are the volunteer chairs of the 2018 Buffalo Walk, providing leadership to the committee that organizes the annual fundraiser. Mike says they have a huge fundraising goal to meet. “We’re working to raise about a half million dollars for this Walk, and that money helps support free local programs and services for everyone impacted by this terrible disease.”
A percentage of every Walk donation is also targeted for research. Alzheimer’s disease is an incurable, unstoppable disease that cannot be prevented and the Alzheimer’s Association is the largest private funder of dementia research in the United States.
The Buffalo Walk is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Outer Harbor in Buffalo — a new location for this Walk (225 Fuhrmann Blvd.) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. More than 4,200 people are expected to participate, many of them wearing T-shirts that identify their teams and are often emblazoned with pictures of the person or people they are walking in support of or in memory of. Others carry signs that signify their reason to walk and every participant receives a pinwheel flower that signifies the hope that blooms for the first survivor of Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no cost to register, but there are incentives for raising donations for this vitally important fundraiser. The event is family-friendly, with free parking, basket and 50/50 raffles, entertainment, snacks and access to local vendors and food trucks. Registration is quick and easy online at alz.org/Walk or by calling 626-0600. Walk-up registration is also welcome the morning of the event.
Corporate support of the Walk is a critical factor in its fundraising success. The WNY Chapter is pleased to welcome new Platinum Sponsor Aetna. WDCX Radio returns as Plainum Sponsor. Afternoon program host Neil Boron is a former Walk Chairman. “Seven years ago, when I first got involved in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, I had no idea how much the work of the Alzheimer’s Association would mean to me personally. Now,” says Neil, “when I walk and raise funds for education, research, support, respite care, and the like, I am not only doing this for the millions affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia, but for my own father as well.”
The law firm Cellino and Barnes also returns as a Platinum Sponsor. Other local corporate support comes from Merchants Insurance, Tim Horton’s and WUTV.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association and local programs and services, visit alz.org/WNY or call 1-800-272-3900.