Charleston Walk to End Alzheimer’s aims to raise funds for research, local care services

West Virginia

While COVID-19 threatens the health of millions around the world, the virus creates unique challenges for those living with Alzheimer’s. (WOWK 13 News Staff Photo)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The 2021 Charleston Walk to End Alzheimer’s is set for Saturday, Oct. 30 at Appalachian Power Park.

This year’s event will take place in person with the Promise Garden Ceremony begins at 9 a.m. with the walk following at 9:30 a.m. The West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association says participants can choose to either walk in the Park or in the neighborhoods.

The association says their goal for this year is to raise $97,500 for Alzheimer’s research and local care and support services.

“The magic of the walk happens during our opening ceremonies when participants raise colored flowers representing the reason they walk,” Covert said. “The flower colors are: orange to represent support for the cause; purple to symbolize a loved one lost to the disease; yellow to denote caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia; blue to indicate someone living with it. When everyone raises their Promise Garden flowers that is the time that everyone in attendance truly feels they are not alone in this journey.”

While the walk will be in person this year, Sharon Covert, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter says safety remains a top priority. The association has created a layout to allow for physical distancing, hand sanitizing stations, contactless registration and other safety measures. They are also asking that all attendees either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or wear a mask while in crowded areas. Covert says they will have masks available on-site.

The association says 39,000 West Virginians are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and 85,000 family members and friends are caring for them. Officials say last year, the pandemic also placed added stress on caregivers and patients who could not see their loved ones in long-term care for months or who were unable to utilize in-home aides and adult daycare services.

“This year has been extremely stressful for all and that’s why our efforts to raise money for care and support for local families are so critical,” Covert said.

For more information, visit the Walk to End Alzheimer’s website.

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