A less than three mile walk this weekend can help raise awareness and funding for Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects 5.8 million people, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Facts and Figures report.
The Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter is holding their annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” on Saturday at The Mall at Sierra Vista. Kelsey Laggan, the committee’s chair, said registration is required for the walk but donations aren’t mandatory. This walk is the organization’s largest fundraiser to help fund research for the incurable disease.
Laggan said last year the group raised $25,619 from the Sierra Vista walk and this year have a goal of $30,000. So far the Desert Southwest Chapter has raised roughly $13,000.
Each participant will receive a flower to hold during the walk with the color of the flower signifying their connection to Alzheimer’s. A purple flower signifies they participant lost some to Alzheimer’s, yellow means the person is a caregiver to someone with Alzheimer’s, blue is for someone who is living with the disease and orange signifies the person is walking in support of the Alzheimer’s Association.
At least 140,000 Arizona residents are living with Alzheimer’s, according to the 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, an annual report released by the Alzheimer’s Association. That total is projected to increase by more than 42 percent by 2025.
Day of registration and check-in for those who have already registered begins at 8 a.m. inside the mall near the former Sears. Live music by the Joyce Clark Middle School Band will begin at 8:30 followed by the opening ceremony which include presentations about the walk and the disease. The walk begins at 9:30 a.m.
The route will circle the mall, going up Rodeo Drive and down Avenida Cochise. Laggan said the path will be marked off and volunteers will be along the route to help guide walkers. Hydration stations will be located throughout the walk. A shorter walk route around the interior of the mall will be available as well.
Those who make a donation of $100 will receive a “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” T-shirt and those who make a donation of $500 will receive a T-shirt and a commemorative medal.