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College hosts Alzheimer’s walk

Sarah Gunn | Monday, September 28, 2009

The Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association held the one-mile walk on the College’s campus Sunday.

Across the United States, 72 chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association put on ‘Memory Walks’ to raise money awareness for the disease.

The Indiana chapter hosts 12 ‘Memory Walks’ throughout the state each year with a goal of raising $1.1 million statewide.

For Sunday’s event, the goal was to raise $20,000.

Michael Sullivan of the Indiana Chapter said the funds were “very close to the goal, right around $20,000,” but a final tally would not be available for a few days until the last minute donations collected at the walk were counted.

The walks raise money through teams that are normally groups of families or corporations directly affected by the disease. Many corporations are health professionals, like yesterday’s second place award winner, Ironwood Health and Rehabilitation Center.

“Families will often create a team to support grandma, because she has the disease. Or someone like a husband whose wife gets the disease and he gets angry and wants to do something about it,” Sullivan said. “These people are personally affected by the disease and they are motivated to gain support, so they get people they know to form a team. The team is either supported by members who walk, or donations.”

Donations are allocated to educational efforts, research and advocacy for Alzheimer’s Disease. These efforts are greatly supported by the Memory Walks, as their funds account for 50 percent of the Association’s budget.

The South Bend Chapter’s first walk attracted about 125. The teams walked the one-mile loop that was dotted with signs displaying facts about the disease.

At the end of the walk, awards were given to the three highest fundraising teams and the highest fundraising individual.