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Walk to raise Alzheimer's awareness

by jmaloni

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Fri, Aug 22nd 2014 12:00 pm

The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research programs. Across Western New York, there are six such walks scheduled, including Sept. 27 in Lewiston with the first steps leaving from Artpark.

"We are both proud and pleased that the Niagara County Walk to End Alzheimer's has seen such wonderful growth over the past few years. Residents and businesses have been kind, generous, welcoming and supportive, showing they care about those who have been touched by this disease," said Lynn Westcott, the development director for the Alzheimer's Association WNY Chapter. For the second consecutive year, the Harvest Festival is happening on the same day, so participants can enjoy the entire day in beautiful Lewiston.

The Walk is open to everyone and registration is a fast and simple process: simply log-on to www.alz.org/WNY or call 1-800-272-3900. Site check-in and day-of registration begins at 9 a.m., the opening ceremony starts at 10 and the walk gets underway at 10:10 a.m.

Everyone who registers receives a nylon pinwheel flower as a remembrance of the day. The flowers come in four colors and symbolize the various reasons to participate. For instance, a purple flower means, "I've lost someone to the disease." Often, personal messages are written on the flowers before they are "planted" in the Promise Garden at the site, which is a visual representation of the pledge to remember, to honor, to care and to fight Alzheimer's disease. The flowers are retrieved at the end of the event to take home.

There is no fee to register, but fundraising is strongly encouraged to ensure the chapter can continue to provide local resources for the roughly 30,000 Niagara County residents who are directly impacted by Alzheimer's. There are incentives for reaching certain fundraising goals, and participants have until Oct. 31 to raise money to quality.

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