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Athens Community Center releases its program schedule for the spring season and awaits its participants after a storm flies overhead on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Athens’ Walk to End Alzheimer’s generates awareness, local support

The Alzheimer's Association is hosting its annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s event at the Athens Community Center, 701 E. State St., on Sunday, Oct. 17. With over 300 participants registered so far and a $35,000 donation goal almost met, participation and fundraising for the event is off to a promising start. 

The event will start with pre-walk activities at 12:45 p.m., followed by the Promise Garden Ceremony at 1:45 p.m. At 2 p.m., the walk will begin.

Brian Clark, professor of physiology and neuroscience at Ohio University, said dementia affects millions of Americans every year. 

“Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults,” Clark said in an email. “It is a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Dementia likely affects more than 5 million people in the U.S. and more than 47 million people in the world. The burden and toll on individuals, caregivers and society is enormous and will only increase as the population ages unless effective interventions are developed.”

Organizers of the event hope to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and other brain conditions that can inhibit memory. 

Meg Haist, the walk manager for the Southeastern Ohio Walk to End Alzheimer's, is looking forward to having participants walk to support the cause. Haist said there will be virtual options for participants who might have trouble accessing the in-person event or who have health concerns. 

“We have seen at our chapter’s walks, and then nationally so far, that about 50 to 60% of people that would normally come to a walk are coming,” Haist said. “Most of the people that I've spoken to for this walk are planning to come out, but we do have some people that need to be very careful. Those people have the option to walk from home. We did have that option this year – where you can connect through the walk app … There are ways to still participate and certainly to fundraise online.”

Ethan Meyer, a freshman studying pre-nursing, is expecting the event to raise a lot of awareness and expressed that he would attend such an event in the near future. 

“The money is going towards a great cause and the event as a whole seems like it will be a good time, all while raising awareness for Alzheimer's,” Meyer said in an email. “I have never been to a type of fundraiser like this before, but I think the message the walk is promoting will bring lots of awareness to the fight against Alzheimer's.”

Anyone looking to support a cause and raise money for Alzheimer’s research and treatment can attend the Walk to End Alzheimer’s event. Registration is open online.

@trerspencer1

ts582119@ohio.edu

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