The Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter is planning a return to the Buffalo Outer Harbor for their annual fundraising walk in September. All in-person events will implement safety protocols including physical distancing, contactless registration, hand sanitizing stations and more. Masks are welcome and will be available on-site.
The organization will also 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. For those who prefer to participate by walking from home, around their neighbors or on a favorite trail, they can still engage in many Walk-day experiences through the Walk website and mobile app. Information about the app is available in the Walk Participation Center when participants register at alz.org/WNYwalk.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is critical to the Chapter’s efforts to provide care and support for all impacted by dementia across Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Money raised by Walk participants ensures the Chapter can continue to provide free education programs, support groups, respite training services, a 24/7 Helpline, research and more.
Among those who will be participating in Buffalo on Saturday, Sept. 18, is Jacquie Prenatt. The Queen City resident leads the Rick’s Good Company walk team. “It started as a way to feel like I was doing something to help and honor my dad, Rick Gazzo, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014,” said Jacquie. “Watching someone slowly disappear to this disease is the most heartbreaking thing I have ever done.” Alzheimer’s claimed Rick’s life a year ago.
Jacquie says she poured her grief into action. “I have spent the 2021 fundraising season trying to cope with this loss. Raising funds for Alzheimer’s research could mean preventing future generations of my own family from enduring this same heartbreak.” Jacquie is more than half-way to her goal of raising $3,500 for the Association.
A key feature of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the Promise Garden, a mission-focused experience that symbolizes the fight against the disease with colorful pinwheel flowers. The flowers come in four colors, which represent a connection to the disease: blue is for those living with dementia, yellow signifies a care partner, purple honors those lost to the disease and orange illustrates support for our fight to end Alzheimer’s.
There are no fees to attend, but as this event is the major means of support for the non-profit Alzheimer’s Association, fundraising is strongly encouraged and incentives are offered for meeting specific goals, including the 2021 Walk to End Alzheimer’s purple T-shirt. Free registration is quick and easy at alz.org/WNY. Once registered, participants have access to the online participant center from which they can share their efforts and progress on social media, create personal fundraising emails, share photos or videos of the reasons they are walking and more.
For additional information and to inquire about corporate sponsorship, please call Lynn Westcott during traditional business hours at 440-4251 or send an email to LWestcott@alz.org.
Walks are also scheduled in Batavia and Dunkirk on Sept. 25, in Lewiston and Allegany on Oct. 2, and on Oct. 9 in Medina.
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