THUNDER BAY, ON - FEBRUARY 10, 2010 – A massive crowd showed up to the Intercity Shopping Centre on Sunday February 7th for the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay’s biggest fundraiser.
More than 184 registered walkers rallied to help the Alzheimer Society move a step closer to better care and a cure at the 16th Annual Manulife Walk for Memories. The grand total of pledges was over $46,000 with a few thousand additional dollars expected.
The event put the cap on Alzheimer Awareness Month, which ran throughout January. “We are pleasantly surprised to see how many walkers showed up considering so many other worthy causes and much needed support is required for Haiti relief fund and the United Way,” stated Alison Denton, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay.
At the end of the day the Walk for Memories comes down to a lot more than the money. “As much as it is a fundraiser, the other key component is fellowship it brings to families and friends, who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia” Denton said.
Honourary Chair of the event, Bill Heibein agreed. He said people with Alzheimer’s disease and friends and family members of those people need to know there is support out there. Bill was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease over 10 years ago when he was 55-years old. He said he wants to be an example for people and demonstrate that Alzheimer’s disease affects everyone differently.
Participants walked to the sounds of local musicians who set up throughout the mail. An information booth and a kids zone were popular attractions as well but the most popular was Memory Lane, where more than 440 names of those lost to Alzheimer’s disease were displayed.
In Northwestern Ontario, 3,200 people have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to rise dramatically in the next 25 years. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia for which there is no cure. It results in failing mental and physical function and loss of memory, and is the seventh leading cause of death in Canada.
The Manulife Walk for Memories takes place throughout the month of January and February and is open to everyone. It’s not too late to show your support. Start a walk in your community or volunteer your time, or if you want to donate online visit www.walkformemories.ca
About the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay
Founded in 1986, the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay is a charitable organization dedicated to alleviating the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The Society offers support to people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers; provides public education; promotes awareness in the community and funds research. Over 3,200 people in Northwestern Ontario are currently living with dementia, and this number is expected to double in the next ten years. The Society depends on local support and donations, as the demand for our services continues to grow.