Alzheimer's Walk Returns to Mooney Grove Park on Oct. 2
Last updated 8/31/2021 at 8:19pm | View PDF
Tulare and Kings County residents are invited to participate in the Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's on Saturday, October 2, at Mooney Grove Park in Visalia.
Participants will complete a two-mile walk and learn about Alzheimer's disease, advocacy opportunities, clinical studies enrollment, and support programs and services from the Alzheimer's Association. Participants will also take part in a tribute ceremony to honor those affected by Alzheimer's disease.
On walk day, participants honor 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 - their personal reasons to end the disease.
Registration for the Walk to End Alzheimer's (for those who don't register online) begins at 8 a.m. A 15-minute ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
Because of the pandemic, no walk was held at Mooney Grove Park last year. Instead, participants were instructed to gather in small groups and walk around their own neighborhoods.
"Last year, was very interesting, but the passion did not subside," said Sherrie Wallace, event chair. "We made our goals. The virtual platform (developed last year) reached out to more people so we're having it again this year."
With COVID-19 still having an impact on social interactions, event planners are incorporating "a social distancing element" to keep participants safe.
"We're trying to encourage people to register online before the event so there's not so much contact," said Wallace. "People can also participate online. They can watch a pre-recorded national broadcast before walking in their area."
Even with the safety precautions, this year's event will be similar to the 2019 event, said Amanda Valenzuela, development manager of the Alzheimer's Association's California Southland Chapter.
"We will make sure that everyone feels welcome and as part of a caring community," she said.
Valenzuela was asked why she participates in the local walk.
"It's a personal mission as well as a professional one," she responded. "I cared for my grandmother. I was her caretaker. Even though it wasn't diagnosed, her parents both had it."
"I walk for my great-grandmother Mercedes," said Wallace. "The importance of this event is significantly important so we can continue allocating valuable resources in our community to those affected by this devastating disease.
"My grandmother is starting to show signs of the disease," she added. "I believe it's hereditary, so I feel I have a chance of getting the disease."
More than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, the only disease among the top 10 with causes that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed. One in three seniors are currently expected to die from Alzheimer's or another dementia. Additionally, more than 11 million family and friends provide unpaid care to people with Alzheimer's and other dementias in the U.S.
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.
People are encoraged to sign up as a team captain, join a team or register to walk as an individual at alz.org/walk.
For more information, visit http://www.alzh.org/walk or call (661) 437-8148.