In just 5K’s, the battle against Alzheimer’s disease will be aided this Sunday at the 11th annual Fort Collins Memory Walk at the CSU Oval.
With over 600 communities nationwide working to raise money for Alzheimer’s research and support, this local Memory Walk is just one in a much larger movement.
For the annual event on Sunday, starting at 7 a.m., families, businesses and walkers will join together at CSU “to honor individuals with Alzheimer’s and raise money for services and research,” said Julie Hartman Emery, the development officer for Northern Colorado Regional Offices for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“It’s the ‘move to end Alzheimer’s,'” Hartman Emery said. “(The Memory Walk) gives awareness to the community and let’s you know that you don’t have to fight Alzheimer’s alone.”
With Alzheimer’s disease becoming more prominent, more research and time spent on a cure have come about, but not the funding. That is when the Alzheimer’s Association created the Memory Walk back in 1989 to help create awareness about the disease, but also help fund services for those in need.
Since then, the Memory Walk’s nationwide have raised over $225 million, and now the “money goes towards the advancement of research,” said Leslie Clane, vice president of corporate relations with the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter.
Both Clane and Emery said that the 12 Colorado walks rose over $1 million last year, and are ranked in the top five states in the nation for most money raised.
But the Memory Walk is not just about how much money is raised, it is about honoring loved one’s that have passed away or are suffering from Alzheimer’s.
“It is really about family and care givers and honoring them,” Hartman Emery said. “It’s a day to spend together.”
On Sunday, the Memory Walk will start registering late participants at 7 a.m., and then the official walk will kick off with a 5K walk around CSU campus at 9 a.m. Once the walk is complete, then participants can sit down to a pancake breakfast and enjoy being together with family and others that have shared the same experiences.
“Having the walk at CSU, people say that they love it there,” Hartman Emery said. “CSU is (a large part of) the Fort Collins community.”
People can still get involved, she said. Anyone can register at the Starbuck’s coffee house on Lemay Ave. and Drake Rd. from 12-5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday, and then on Sunday starting at 7 a.m. at the CSU Oval.
“People are raising money and registering until the very last second,” she added.
This year, the local goal is to raise $100,000 between the Fort Collins and Loveland walks, and all participants have to do is donate any amount of money.
Clane said that 88 cents of every $1 raised goes toward the advancement of research and the aid of the service provided by the Alzheimer’s Association.
“We make it a community event,” Hartman Emery said. “Hopefully we are able to make a difference and put an end to Alzheimer’s. We are just trying to find a cure.”
Staff reporter Valerie Hisam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fort Collins Alzheimer’s Memory Walk
Where: CSU Oval
When: Sunday at 7 a.m. to register and 9 a.m. to walk
How get involved: Register on Friday from 12-5 p.m. or Saturday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Starbucks on Drake Road and Lemay Avenue
Cost: Small donation