MIAMI COUNTY — Neighborhoods, trails and parks will be the site of this year’s 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s as the new walk experience allows participants to walk everywhere to show support for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Instead of hosting a large gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups in light of restrictions caused by COVID-19.
“This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be everywhere,” said Wendy Vizek, vice president of constituent events at the Alzheimer’s Association. “The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn’t change the need to walk. This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”
Eric VanVlymen, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter, noted that safety is the top priority.
“Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe,” he said.
With the help of technology, participants in this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s can track their steps, follow a virtual walk path and experience the time-honored traditions of the poignant Promise Garden Ceremony. To enhance the participant experience leading up to the event and on walk day, new features are being added to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app. Participants can use the app and new “Walk Mainstage” to track their distance, manage their Facebook fundraisers, and access information and resources from the association. A new audio track is available to encourage participants along the way and to congratulate them upon completion of their walk.
On walk day, the opening Ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, all delivered to participants’ smartphones, tablets and computers.
The Miami Valley Chapter holds five different community walks in September and early October. They are:
• Darke County on Sept. 26
• Miami County on Sept. 12
• Shelby County on Sept. 12
• Springfield/Urbana on Sept. 19
• Dayton on Oct. 3
Last year, about 4,000 Miami Valley residents participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs. Alzheimer’s is a progressive, fatal disease that kills nerve cells and tissues in the brain, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think and plan.
To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit www.alz.org/walk.