Washtenaw County Walk to End Alzheimer’s returns for in person event

Take steps against Alzheimer’s on October 10

Promise Garden flowers representing those affected by Alzheimer's. (Alzheimer's Association Michigan Chapter)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – More than 190,000 people live with Alzheimer’s disease in Michigan and over 460,000 people care for them, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

On October 10, join community members fighting against the disease at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Pioneer High School.

The annual event is returning to an in-person walk after going virtual in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Put on by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Washtenaw County Walk has raised $2,746,017 over the past 29 years. This year, the organization aims to raise $148,000 for Alzheimer’s and dementia support, care and research.

Participants can register for free online ahead of the walk and raise money through donations. Those who fundraise $100 or more up to four weeks before the event will receive an official event t-shirt.

Promise Garden flowers symbolizing those with Alzheimer’s or those supporting someone with the disease will be given to registered participants.

“I joined the Washtenaw County Walk to End Alzheimer’s to honor my maternal grandmother, who was diagnosed with a mild form of dementia three years ago, and my mother, who acts as her caregiver,” said participant Megan Winkelseth in a release.

“The experience of caring for and loving someone living with dementia can be lonely and feel hopeless. Joining or supporting the Walk through volunteer/fundraising efforts can allow you to channel feelings of loss and isolation into meaningful actions and connect with others in the community who are similarly affected by the disease. From a brief conversation to an official fundraising event on social media, I can see how my engagement makes a difference and raises awareness for Alzheimer’s disease, and that has given me great hope.”

Potential participants can also register by contacting Alzheimer’s Association Development Manager Sue Prynn at smprynn@alz.org by calling 734-548-9085.

The Washtenaw County Walk to End Alzheimer’s will happen rain or shine.

Safety measures for the event include a large event location fit for social distancing, hand sanitizer stations and contactless registration. Adjustments will be made according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local authorities, said the Alzheimer’s Association.

There will also be virtual options to participate, the organization said.

“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we,” said Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter president and CEO Jennifer Lepard in a release. “We must continue the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and we are working to ensure that all our participants have a powerful and moving experience.”

Sponsors for the event include Arbor Hospice, BrightStar Care, Cedar Hurst Senior Living, Chelsea Retirement Community, Hillside Terrace, StoryPoint Saline, Thomson Reuters and Vibrant Life Superior Township.

Learn more about the Washtenaw County Walk to End Alzheimer’s here.

Pioneer High School is at 601 W. Stadium Blvd.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.