ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Over 700 people came to Sportscore One for Rockford’s walk to end Alzheimer’s on Saturday, September 8th.
The annual event is a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, their goal for the walk was to raise over $95,000. The money will go towards research that will hopefully lead to finding a cure for the disease.
“Right here in Illinois, 230,000 people are impacted by the disease, and nationwide 5.5 million people are impacted by the disease,’ said Walk Director, Mary Sorensen. “So it truly is an epidemic that is affecting everyone, including people right here in our community.”
Participants were seen carrying pinwheel flowers while walking, and the different colors represented each individual’s relationship with Alzheimer’s.
“We have a blue flower representing those that are living with the disease, purple for those who have lost someone to the disease, yellow for current caregivers, and orange for those generally supporting the cause,” said Sorensen.
For some of the participants, their personal connection to the disease means they were more than happy to come to the event.
“My grandfather actually had Alzheimer’s, and my grandparents raised me, so it’s always been near and dear to my heart,” said participant Melissa Rehnberg. “This is actually the first walk I’m doing for it.”
“We had a couple family members that passed away because of Alzheimer’s, and we just think it’s a wonderful cause, and we wanted to support it,” said participant Kim Orvis. “And today’s my birthday and I even gave that up to do this.”
As walkers finished the two mile course they were greeted by cheerleaders and the ringing of cowbells.
Participants said it was a good way to spend their morning.
“We had a wonderful time. It’s beautiful out here. Yeah, it was wonderful. Met a lot of nice people,” Orvis said.
Organizers say planning the walk is nearly a year round effort.
Beginning in Janurary the Alzheimer’s Association will start recruiting new members to their walk planning committee. They say volunteers are always welcomed.
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