SIDNEY — Organizers of the Shelby County Walk to End Alzheimer’s are hoping for a record turnout on Courthouse Square this coming Saturday.
According to Katie Mauch, Dayton Chapter coordinator, last year 184 people registered to walk last year.
“We’re hoping for 200 this year,” Mauch said.
Of course, more than 200 would be a very welcome sight, with statistics revealing that more than 200,000 Ohioans are affected by the disease that has no cure – so far.
Although participants may register to walk for free, organizers do accept donations toward the cause of finding a cure.
“We encourage people to make a donation or fundraise ahead of time,” Mauch said. Every registered participant who makes a $100 donation the day of the event will receive a walk T-shirt.
All funds raised through Walk to End Alzheimer’s further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. The association is a nonprofit 501©3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.
Registration for Saturday’s walk will be held on the lawn of the Shelby County Courthouse in downtown Sidney. The Farmers Market also will be taking place around the courthouse.
Registration is at 9 a.m. A ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. with the walk stepping off at 10:30 a.m. As of this past weekend, organizers were putting the finishing touches on the walk route, which was tweaked due to construction in the downtown area, Mauch said. The final two-mile route will be posted on the chapter’s website at www.act.alz.org. There also will be a short version of the walk available for those who cannot complete the two mile route, Mauch said.
Upon registration, participants will be asked to choose a pinwheel flower in one of the following colors:
· Purple – you have lost someone to Alzheimer’s
· Orange – you support the cause, but you may not have a direct connection
· Yellow – you are a caregiver for a family/friend or professionally
· Blue – you are living with Alzheimer’s disease
The flowers will be used in the ceremony then walkers may take their flowers along on the walk and home at the end of the event, Mauch said.
The brief ceremony will include a representative of each flower color who will share some of their story dealing with Alzheimer’s.
“Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death and with that it’s the only disease in the top 10 with no way to slow, prevent or cure,” Mauch said.
“A lot of families who deal with Alzheimer’s tend to isolate themselves due to the nature of the disease,” Mauch said. “The Walk to End Alzheimer’s provides the opportunity to be with others who are dealing with the disease right here in Shelby County.”
More than 5 million people are currently living with the diease in the United States, and by 2050 that number is expected to rise. “We view it as a health crisis,” Mauch said.
Back this year are local walk sponsors, Mauch said, including Dorothy Love Retirement Community, The Pavilion Rehab and Skills Care facility, both in Sidney, and Elmwood Assisted Living in New Bremen.
We are really excited to have local sponsors this year,” Mauch said. “We didn’t have local sponsors last year and we’re glad to be bringing that back into the community, to have local care facilities support the walk.”
Four Sidney care facilities have organized teams to participate in Saturday’s event, including Fairhaven, LanePark, Dorothy Love and The Pavilion.
A planning committee began working on the 2015 walk last January, under the direction of Jenny Huelskamp of Sidney, Mauch said. Huelskamp, who is employed by Wilson Health, has been “a wonderful leader for this walk,” Mauch said.
In case of extreme weather, the walk will be canceled.
“We’ve had walks in the rain before and we’ll do it again if we have to,” Mauch said.
For more information on Shelby County’s A Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit the Dayton Chapter’s website at www.act.org.
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and available resources, visit alz.org or call 1-800-272-3900. If you or someone you know are showing signs of Alzheimer’s, call the 1-800 number above.
Reach Editor Susan Hartley at 937-538-4651.