BY SHELLEY TERRY

sterry@starbeacon.com

ASHTABULA — The time is now to register for the first-ever Ashtabula County Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association will live-stream the Ashtabula County Walk beginning at 10 a.m. on Oct. 10. Registration is now open as hundreds of residents are expected to don their purple Alzheimer’s shirts as they walk around their neighborhoods and parks to show their support for Alzheimer’s research, care and support.

“It’s great that we can host an event as significant as the regional Alzheimer’s Walk,” Ashtabula County Commissioner J.P. Ducro IV said. “The disease has touched many local families and this is a great show of support to them.”

While the Alzheimer’s Association is not gathering a large crowd because of COVID-19 restrictions, participants are encouraged to walk individually or in small groups in their neighborhoods to join the movement. The goal of the walk is to raise $35,000. 

“We wanted to provide participants multiple ways to support the ongoing needs of families facing Alzheimer’s disease, so we have found a way for people to walk safely or people can just raise money and make a donation without walking,” said Katie Mang, vice president, fund development for the Cleveland Area Chapter.

Mang said the Cleveland Area Chapter is excited to add Ashtabula to the list of communities where residents can show their support for Alzheimer’s awareness.

“In 2019, the Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter conducted a community assessment in Ashtabula County and found that a need for awareness of our services was evident, as well as an increasing interest in engaging with our programs,” Mang said. “As a result, and due to the outpouring and support and interest, we are thrilled to be launching the annual Walk event.”

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Ashtabula, locally presented by The Lantern of Saybrook, would not be possible without the support of founding committee member, Bill Herzog, and the generous contributions of the Ashtabula Walk Founding Sponsors, Herzog Family Foundation, MC Foundation and Great Lakes Auto, Mang said.

All local sponsors will be recognized on the website and during the live-streamed ceremony.

The Chapter serves Ashtabula County residents needing services through its 24/7 Helpline at 800-272.-900, free education programs, support groups and care consultations. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s helps to fund those programs so that those services are free. 

This year, a Promise Garden Parade will take place from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., in which people can view the planted Promise Garden from their vehicles. The Promise Garden, filled with multi-colored flowers that represent people’s connection to the disease, will be set up on Bridge Street in the Ashtabula Harbor.

“The Promise Garden will be a welcome addition to the Bridge Street community and will help bring awareness to a disease that has impacted many county residents,” Ashtabula County Commissioner Kathryn Whittington said. 

People can go to http://act.alz.org/ashtabulawalk to register for the event. Mang encouraged participants to download the Walk to End Alzheimer’s app for additional tools.

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 app

· Visit the Promise Garden on Bridge Street

“Alzheimer’s has impacted many in our community,” said Casey Kozlowski, county commissioner. “I applaud efforts to hold the walk and bring awareness to this debilitating disease.”

 Last year, about 6,400 Northeast Ohio residents, living in the five counties that the Chapter serves, 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.

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