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Walk to End Alzheimer's raises $80K

News-Topic - 11/5/2023

Nov. 4—HICKORY — More than 500 people participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer's-Unifour that surpassed its fundraising goal and raised $80,000 in support of Alzheimer's care, support and research programs of the Alzheimer's Association.

The walk at the LP Frans Stadium in Hickory that included 553 participants on 67 teams set a $50,000 goal but raised a record-setting total of $80,453, said Christine John-Fuller, with the Alzheimer's Association.

"Many thanks to our dedicated walk participants, volunteers, sponsors, staff and the Unifour region for coming together to take steps for all those affected by Alzheimer's disease and all other dementia," said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Alzheimer's AssociationWestern Carolina Chapter.

"We appreciate everyone involved for raising critical funds for Alzheimer's research and local support services."

Everyage/Abernethy Laurels was the top fundraising team that raised $7,573. The other top fundraising teams include Sigma Kappa Theta Alpha at $6,366 and Trinity Ridge at $6,231.

On walk day Oct. 28, participants honored those affected by Alzheimer's with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony — a mission-focused experience that signifies solidarity in the fight against the disease.

The colors of the Promise Garden flowers represent people's connection to Alzheimer's and their personal reasons to end the disease.

The day also featured fun, all-ages entertainment and family-friendly music. Special guests included the Lenoir-Rhyne University Spirit Team and their mascot Joe Bear. Tara Lane, chief meteorologist for Queen City News, emceed the event. Lane lends her support in memory of her father who had Alzheimer's disease.

More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, which is a leading cause of death in the United States.

Additionally, more than 11 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. In North Carolina alone, there are 180,000 people living with the disease and 369,000 caregivers.

Area counties have similar Alzheimer's prevalence rates for people ages 65 and older, including Caldwell County that has a prevalence rate of 10.1%, Alexander County has an prevalence rate of 10.5%, Burke County's prevalence rate is 10.8%, and Catawba County's rate is 10.6%, John-Fuller said.

Even though the Alzheimer's Association surpassed its goal, the agency is working to keep the momentum and continues to raise critical funds and awareness by the end of the year. John-Fuller said.

The association will continue to accept donations through Dec. 31 at act.alz.org/Unifour.

The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's is the world's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research. The annual event takes place in more than 600 communities and features over 300,000 participants across the country. Since 1989, the Alzheimer's Association has mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk.

The Western Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association provides patient and family services, information and referral, education, and advocacy in 49 central and western North Carolina counties. It offers opportunities to get involved and to make a difference, in addition to a variety of services including: a 24/7 Helpline, support groups, educational programs, and care consultations.

For more information about Alzheimer's disease or the Alzheimer's Association Western Carolina Chapter, visit alz.org/northcarolina or call 800-272-3900.

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