Walk to End Alzheimer’s goes virtual

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Posted September 18, 2020 | By Lisa McGinnes, Staff Writer

As they do every year, the Alzheimer’s Association is asking local residents to support Alzheimer’s research by participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. What’s different this year is the walk on Saturday, September 26th will be a self-directed walk for individuals and families to complete on their own rather than a big event.

“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we,” explained Terry Boynton, director of the Ocala Walk to End Alzheimer’s. “We must continue Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together.”

As usual, the walk will kick off with an opening ceremony, but this time it can be viewed online. Walkers are then encouraged to walk their own route in their neighborhood or on any trail they enjoy. The opening ceremony will take place at 9am on the Walk Mainstage app, which will also track participants’ steps and distance and manage their online fundraising campaigns. An audio track will provide encouragement while participants walk and congratulate them when they finish their route.

This year, the Promise Garden, which features flowers that represent each participant’s connection to Alzheimer’s—blue for an individual living with Alzheimer’s; purple for someone who lost a loved one to the disease; yellow for a person who takes care of someone living with Alzheimer’s; and orange for anyone who supports the cause—can be viewed on a drive-through basis at Tuscawilla Park from 10am-3pm.

Anyone who wants to walk as an individual or as part of a small team of close family or friends can register online at www.alz.org/walk. There is no fee to register but walkers are encouraged to solicit donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. More than 600 communities across the country will hold walks as “non-events” this year.

“Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19,” Boynton said. “We know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.”

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