The Alzheimer's Association Western New York Chapter estimates that, across Niagara County, approximately 7,500 residents have Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia. It's further believed an additional 22,000 family members and friends provide some kind of care for those with impaired cognition.
All those people, as well as professional care providers, have access to the no-cost resources of the WNY chapter, which includes educational programs, support groups, online access to information, support and medical professionals across the county, and other vital programs and services.
The major means of financial support for these services is the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's, which will take place starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Artpark, 450 S. Fourth St., Lewiston.
Hundreds of participants are expected to take part in this fundraiser. A committee of local residents and business and community leaders has been planning the walk for months, helping secure donations of goods and services, recruiting team members and leaders, and promoting the event across the county - while raising awareness about dementia and the WNY chapter.
Registration and fundraising can be accomplished online at www.alz.org/WNY or via a phone call to 1-800-272-3900. All registered participants have access to refreshments, entertainment, and basket and 50/50 raffles.
Day-of registration is also available from 9-10 a.m., and fundraising can continue through the end of the year to qualify for incentives, which include a purple Walk to End Alzheimer's T-shirt and a gold medal.
The continuing availability of chapter resources and research to find ways to prevent, slow and cure Alzheimer's disease is also funded through the generous support of the corporate world.
WDCX Radio is a walk platinum sponsor.
"Alzheimer's has taken far too many lives and devastated way too many families," said Neil Boron, WDCX radio host. "Loving family members and friends who cannot love you back is the epitome of unconditional love, and why we are so engaged in this fight."
Cellino and Barnes is also a major corporate sponsor, led by law firm co-founder Steve Barnes.
"We're proud to support the Alzheimer's Association in its fight against this disease, and we are confident that continued research will achieve our ultimate goal: Finding a cure," he said.
Additional corporate sponsors include Elderwood, Tim Hortons and Northtown Toyota. Local sponsors also generously support the event, including Newfane Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center.