Walk to End Alzheimer’s exceeds goals

%0AParticipants+of+last+year%E2%80%99s+Walk+to+End+Alzheimer%E2%80%99s+gather+outside+of+the+Jacobetti+complex+to+support+research+of+the+incurable+disease.+%0APhoto+courtesy+of+Kristin+Rossi

Participants of last year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s gather outside of the Jacobetti complex to support research of the incurable disease. Photo courtesy of Kristin Rossi

Jackie Jahfetson

Memory loss and confusion are the main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and over 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with the disease today. Though Western medicine has progressed immensely in the past 100 years, the disease remains incurable. But, the Alzheimer’s Association won’t give up without a fight as they continue their search for a cure.

Over 300 people joined together for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s this past Saturday and raised over $6,000 in support and research of the disease. People from Marquette County, Escanaba, Negaunee to local businesses, sponsors and families participated in the 2-mile walk that began at the Jacobetti Complex and looped along the lake shore.

“This cause is so important because Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death and the only one that cannot be slowed, prevented or cured,” Jake Bilodeau, regional director of Alzheimer’s Association said.

Saturday’s walk exceeded its initial goal and helped raise a grand total of $60,000, Bilodeau said. Over 600 different communities participated making it the largest event to raise funds and increase awareness for the disease and related dementias, Bilodeau said. All the money goes to supporting programs and services in the Marquette community as well as research funding, he added.

“We definitely knocked our goal out of the water this year. We saw fantastic community involvement on Saturday,” Bilodeau said. “We had wonderful weather and the participants enjoyed the walk along the water, the Promise Garden Ceremony and an appearance from the Star Wars Storm Troopers. [There was] fun for the whole family.”

Though Saturday’s weather was a bit cooler than last year, there was an increase in the amount of community members and the walk saw a “level of awareness,” Bilodeau said, adding, if anyone is interested in volunteer leadership positions, there are opportunities still available on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee.

“The walk may be over, but fundraising is not,” he added.

For anyone interested in getting involved or donating toward the cause, the organization will fundraise until Dec. 31. For more information, visit
act.alz.org/marquette.