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STILL TIME TO WALK: Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising until end of year

More than 100 residents participated in this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in LaGrange.

Due to the walk going virtual this year because of COVID-19, participants walked as individuals and small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across LaGrange on Sept. 12 raising more than $30,000 to support the care, support and research programs of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Due to the virtual walk, participants are not fundraising in person and will continue to raise funds to reach the goal of $55,500 for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in LaGrange by Dec. 31.

“The Walk to End Alzheimer’s un LaGrange has generated incredible support,” said Tammy Strickland, 2020 co-chair. “COVID-19, however, continues to challenge LaGrange families impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. We are continuing fundraising efforts through the end of the year to support local care and support programs and to accelerate important research.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, since the pandemic hit in March, the Georgia Chapter has been offering education and support programs online including virtual caregiver yoga, support groups and art programs.

Strickland said they had a large drop in teams this year due to COVID.

“Everything has been more individual across the board,” Strickland said. “It’s been a tough year.  It just didn’t manifest this year. We lost a lot of corporate support this year, and I know we aren’t the only ones.”

In Georgia alone, there are more than 150,000 people living with the disease and 540,000 caregivers.

“We are seeing steady demand for our online education programs and support groups,” said Linda Davidson, executive director of the Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. 

“Alzheimer’s can be a terribly isolating disease even under normal circumstances. Families tell us that being able to connect with us during the current pandemic has been a lifeline. We intend to continue to be there and support Georgia families throughout the pandemic and beyond.”

LaGrange residents who were unable to participate in the 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s but still want to make a donation can do so by visiting georgiawalk.org and clicking on LaGrange. 

Strickland said they are relying mostly on social media to raise money and awareness but that anyone can still make a team and walk if they want.

“The main walk has always been a great way to raise money because of team members and them being able to reach goals but without having the big walk this year has been hard,” Strickland said. 

“We are encouraging people to still make a small team and walk on their own day. My family did it on The Thread, and it was great.”

Strickland said creating a Facebook fundraiser is also a great option to raise funds.

“We are grateful to all of our volunteers, sponsors, participants and donors,” Davidson said. 

“We are all facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their commitment to Walk to End Alzheimer’s makes an enormous difference to families impacted by this devastating disease and advancing the science that will change the course of this disease for millions.”

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