Despite the hurdles of organizing an event during the COVID-19 pandemic, Western New York’s famed generosity once again rose to meet the challenge.
The Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter organized the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in six local communities this fall to raise funds to provide free resources for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. While the Walks were altered to reflect the need for social distancing and other safety precautions, individuals and small teams of families and friends hiked through parks, strolled their neighborhoods and wandered along trails of their choice instead of gathering by the thousands in one location.
“COVID has had a devastating impact on families facing an Alzheimer’s diagnosis,” said Buffalo Walk to End Alzheimer’s co-chair Shoshone Dentice of The GreenFields Continuing Care Community in Lancaster. Her colleague, GreenFields President and CEO Chris Koenig, co-chaired the event. “You can provide hope and inspiration to families who are struggling, with even the smallest donation,” he said. “There has never been a more critical time than now to give.”
To date, the WNY Walks have raised more than $500,000 and efforts to ensure those living with dementia have ongoing access to programs and services continue. Participants can raise funds through the end of the year to qualify for incentive gifts and for a limited time, earn a match through a generous donation provided by The Hooper Family Foundation. Volunteers are also organizing an on-line basket raffle that is open to the public. Raffle tickets are available through Dec. 10 at https://wnyraffle.ourraffle.org/.
“We are so grateful to our fundraisers, sponsors, donors and volunteers who, despite facing unprecedented economic and personal upheaval this year, came through for the thousands of their neighbors who are living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia,” said Chapter Executive Director Jill Horner. “These donations fund vital resources across the entire region, as well as research that we know will one day end this disease.”
For more information about how to support the Western New York Walk, visit alz.org/WNYwalk or call 1-800-272-3900.