Get out your walking shoes. The Alzheimer’s Association will hold its annual Harford County Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Saturday, Oct. 1 (rain or shine), at the Bel Air Equestrian Center (608 N. Tollgate Rd., Bel Air).
Registration starts at 9 am, when participants can enjoy light refreshments, as well as music and entertainment for the whole family. Walking teams will have their photos taken, and walkers who raise $100 will receive a Walk to End Alzheimer’s t-shirt.
What’s more, participants will receive pinwheel flowers that they can decorate with the names of loved ones and take home with them.
An opening ceremony focusing on the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association, and the announcement of the top three fundraising teams and top three fundraising individuals.
At 10 a.m., 11-year-old Youth Ambassador Chloe Jade Anderson from Conowingo will kick-off the 2.5-mile walk.
Chloe volunteers at Country View Assisted Living in Bel Air, where her mother works. Over the years, she has spent a lot of time playing games, making crafts and interacting with the residents.
- Participants are encouraged to register early, as teams (four+ members) or individually. Registration is free and available online at www.alz.org/maryland.
- To register by phone, call 410-561-9099 or 1-800-272-3900.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs. Since its inception in 1989, Americans who have participated in the Walk have raised more than $265 million
This October, the Alzheimer’s Association will hold a total of six Walk to End Alzheimer’s events in Maryland. Last year’s events in Maryland drew over 4,000 walkers and raised over $636,000.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit www.alz.org/maryland.
Notes on some of our caring and wonderful participants:
Chloe Jade Anderson (11) is the Youth Ambassador. She volunteers at Country View Assisted Living in Bel Air. Chloe has spent a lot of time playing games, making crafts and interacting with the residents. Chloe’s mom, Regina Anderson, works at Country View and is the team captain of the facility’s Walk team, “The Memory Makers,” which raised over $5,000 from basket bingo. The Andersons live in Conowingo.
Rose Canfield (13) Bel Air resident – Team Captain of Kids for a Cure:
“I came up with the name because I am only 13 years old and i am trying to find a cure to help end Alzheimer’s. I raise my money by going around to neighbors to see if they will donate. I also ask my parents if their friends will help and have my mom ask at work. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s and I saw how hard it was for him so I wanted to help other people and their families. This will be my 3rd year walking.”
Chrissie Werzinsky – Abingdon resident , processing coordinator for the Baltimore Orioles, and Team captain of “Boppy’s Bunch” . This will be Chrissie’s second walk in honor of her father.
“The grandchildren always called my Dad “Bop” or “Boppy”, consequently it stuck and we all called him that. It is such a cuddly name and he was such a cuddly kind of guy. My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 70. Fortunately he had a great Dr. and terrific support system. The medication cocktail seemed to help slow the progression. He remained the wonderful father/husband he always was with a few “bad” days peppered in. As a result of the Alzheimer’s, he suffered Expressive Aphasia. While he couldn’t really have a true conversation, we all developed a special way of communicating and understanding his needs and wants.”
“He remained willing to fight the disease and strive to remain the father and husband he always was. My mom suffered a stroke about 5 years later and we were very worried about how he would handle it. Six months later she passed away and we were sure that would do him in. Much to our surprise, he seemed to fight harder against the Alzheimer’s for the sake of our family. He moved near my sister and family in VA and seemed to really thrive. We all spent a lot of time with him on a daily basis. Obviously, there were many hurdles but we all somehow manage to adjust/adapt. While doing so, we needed to find new ways to find the joy in this horrible disease.”
“We learned to see life the way he saw it, in is simplest form. We have all learned to really appreciate the “good days” more, laugh at ourselves and enjoy literally, seeing the flowers bloom or a cute dog out on a walk and just being together. After his 12-year battle, he was admitted to the hospital, his organs were no longer getting the right signals to do the right things in his body.”
“He died peacefully Christmas evening morning (his favorite holiday), with his daughters at his side and a smile on his.”
“He knew us and knew we were with him. A promise we made to ourselves, to him and our mom before she died. It was the most moving experience of my life. Never have I learned more from someone who spoke so little. It is because of his fight that we raise money to put an end to this horrible disease. I don’t want my niece and nephew to have to know it so intimately. “
“We raise money by flooding our Facebook page to friends and family and I shame people at work with the forget-me-nots and I bake and can salsa to sell at work for fundraising. THE key is to make sure people know how truly passionate you are about ending this disease. It is amazing how many people are affected by it in one form or another when you just talk to them. “
Brightview Avondellin Bel Air also has a Walk team. They held a fundraiser with a band, basket raffle (including a Ravens basket) at Bowl on the Beach yesterday, 9/17.
So come one, and come all. Let’s Walk To End Alzheimer’s, on October 1!