CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s to show support for Alzheimer’s research, care and support is set for Saturday.
Sharon M. Rotenberry, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter spoke with 580-WCHS and said the planned walks around the state will look different this year due to COVID-19.
“The walk is everywhere. Instead of gathering in large groups for obvious reasons due to social distancing and best practices, we are encouraging everyone to walk in their neighborhood, state parks and trails,” she said.
Participants are encouraged to walk individually in their neighborhoods to join the movement. She said the walk particularly raises awareness about the disease and free services her organization has.
“It also raises funds that we use to provide these services both locally and to help fund research for an effective treatment and a cure,” she said.
The goal is to raise $125,000, according to a release. In 2019, Rotenberry said the walk raised $570,000 but COVID-19 has dampened the goals for 2020, being forced to scale back.
She said she remains proud of the work everyone has done fighting the disease that has been diagnosed in 39,000 West Virginians.
“Fewer than half of the people with the disease actually get a diagnosis. Then we have about 107,000 people in this state who provide care to those people for free,” Rotenberry said on the impact of Alzheimer’s on the state.
This year’s event chair is Christie Ball. The Walk Ceremony, with the traditional Promise Garden Ceremony, will occur at 9 a.m. and will be live-streamed. This year a view-only Promise Garden will be located at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.
People can go to alz.org/walk to register for the event. On Walk Day, participants are encouraged to:
· Log onto Mainstage, the event’s interactive online experience
· Livestream the opening Promise Garden Ceremony
· Walk in your neighborhood
· Track your steps using the Walk to End Alzheimer’s app
· Visit the Promise Garden location
The Charleston walk is one of nine to take place in West Virginia.