Adam Black, Editor
The Ashland Beacon
The Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's will be held in Ashland on Saturday, October. 19, 2019 at Central Park.
The walk will benefit the Alzheimer's Association, which is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research. Likewise, the Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's, which is held in more than 600 communities across the nation, is the world's largest event held to raise Alzheimer's awareness and funds.
"We raise about $1.4 million from the walks here in Kentucky and that goes to resources and research to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease," Development Director, Sommer Lally said. "It has been a long time that we have been doing the walk in Ashland."
The Alzheimer's Walk has had tremendous growth according to organizers counting participants in the 400 to 500 range.
"There are quite a few teams that participate and raise money for the cause each year; Denver’s Voice, which is probably our largest team in Ashland, always raises quite a bit of money," Lally said. "We also have a few new teams this year who have been raising funds with special events."
As for where the donated funds go after you and your team donate, according to the Walk to End Alzheimer's official website, all funds raised through Walk to End Alzheimer's further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
"We hope to one day be able to say we have found a cure," Lally said.
Registration for the event will begin at 9 a.m. at the Central Park Band Stand, followed by a Welcome and Promise Garden Ceremony to honor those affected by the disease at 9:45 a.m., leading into the start of the two-mile-long walk at 10 a.m.
"The promise garden is such an amazing thing," Lally said. "Flowers of different colors are placed in the ground as participants walk and its just a very beautiful moment."
Colors for the Promise Garden have different meanings with purple representing those who lost someone to the disease, orange representing someone who supports the mission, yellow represents someone who is caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease, and blue represents someone who has Alzheimer's.
"We have one more color, which is white, and it represents someone who has survived the disease," Lally said. "We hope to one day be able to give that color out as well."
To register for the Walk online, visit the Walk to End Alzheimer's website. New walkers will be given the option to walk alone, form their own team, or join an existing team. While it is required to register for the Walk, there is no registration fee. However, participants are urged to make a personal donation and commit to raising funds for the fight against Alzheimer's.