The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Buffalo area residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Sept. 12.
The Buffalo Walk to End Alzheimer’s continues, but instead of hosting a large gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across Western New York.
“This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be everywhere,” said Wendy Vizek, vice president, constituent events at the Alzheimer’s Association. “The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn’t change the need to walk. This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”
Time-honored components of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s are being replicated. On Walk day, an opening ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, all delivered to participants’ smartphones, tablets and computers. A small group of Alzheimer’s Association volunteers will create the iconic Promise Garden in a “view only” format on Walk day at 6265 Sheridan Drive in Amherst to honor all those impacted by Alzheimer’s.
To enhance the participant experience leading up to the event and on Walk day, new features are being added to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app to create an opportunity for the community to connect. Participants can use the app and new “Walk Mainstage” to track their steps and distance, follow a virtual Walk path, manage their Facebook fundraisers, and access information and resources from the Association and Walk sponsors to help individuals and families affected by the disease.
“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we,” said WNY Chapter Executive Director Jill Horner. “We must continue Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together. Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.”
More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In New York State alone, there are more than 400,000 people living with the disease and approximately 1.2 million caregivers.
Personal injury attorney Steve Barnes is among the top local sponsors of the WNY Walks. “I personally had a beloved uncle who died of Alzheimer’s,” Barnes shared. “I hope through my support that more people will jump on board and that sufficient funds can be raised for physicians and scientists to learn more about the disease and hopefully to one day find a cure.”
Other top local sponsors of this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s include CVS Health/Aetna, Elderwood, Merchants insurance Group and WDCX Radio/Crawford Broadcasting.
To take part in this special event, or to donate to the event and learn more about fundraising incentives, visit alz.org/WNYwalk.
Similar Walks will take place in the Southern Tier (Sept. 26), the Orleans County region (Sept. 26), across Genesee/Wyoming counties (Oct. 3), in Niagara County (Oct. 3) and across Chautauqua County (Oct. 10). For additional information, call 1-800-272-3900.