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Walk to End Alzheimer's returns to Lewiston

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Wed, Sep 26th 2018 04:55 pm
Shown is the Elderwood at Wheatfield team from 2017. Christie Fitzgibbons is standing in the second row in a bright green top. Elderwood was the top facility fundraising team in 2017 and the Wheatfield team was the highest among all Elderwood teams.
Shown is the Elderwood at Wheatfield team from 2017. Christie Fitzgibbons is standing in the second row in a bright green top. Elderwood was the top facility fundraising team in 2017 and the Wheatfield team was the highest among all Elderwood teams.
Christie Fitzgibbons is the activities director at Elderwood at Wheatfield. She is also a member of the volunteer committee planning the 2018 Lewiston Walk to End Alzheimer's. She sees firsthand the devastation dementia can wreak on families.
"Watching what Alzheimer's disease can do to someone is heartbreaking," she said. "When the residents have a clear day and their families come to me and say, 'Mom was Mom today and it was so great that I got to be here for just five minutes of my mom,' it makes me feel blessed to do what I do."
The Walk to End Alzheimer's, the annual fundraising walk organized by the Alzheimer's Association Western New York Chapter, helps support the programs and services provided at no cost to those living with dementia, their care partners and health care professionals across Niagara County.
"The association provides me with a lot of resources with monies raised from the walk, so I feel it is necessary and vital to participate so we can continue to help everyone touched by this disease," Christie said.
The family-friendly walk will take place Saturday, Oct. 13, beginning at 9 a.m. with registration and check-in at Artpark, 450 S. Fourth St. Festivities get underway at 10 a.m. with a brief opening ceremony. The roughly two-mile walk route winds into the village and returns to the park. Along the way, local singers will entertain walkers.
Participants start or join teams and raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association, which has a Western New York chapter office in Williamsville. There is no fee to sign-up, and there are incentives for reaching specific fundraising goals. All registered participants can enjoy refreshments, access to basket and 50/50 raffles, entertainment and a keepsake pinwheel flower that can be personalized with their reasons for participating.
The majority of funds raised stay in WNY to provide free education programs, support groups, respite services and other resources for all impacted by dementia. A percentage of every event donation is also targeted for research.
Register online at www.alz.org/Walk or by calling 716-626-0600, ext. 8981. Walk-up registration is also welcome the morning of the event.
Event organizers said corporate support is a critical factor in its fundraising success. The WNY Chapter welcomes new platinum sponsor Aetna.
WDCX Radio also returns as platinum sponsor. Afternoon program host Neil Boron is a former walk chairman.
"Seven years ago, when I first got involved in the Walk to End Alzheimer's, I had no idea how much the work of the Alzheimer's Association would mean to me personally," he said. "Now, when I walk and raise funds for education, research, support, respite care and the like, I am not only doing this for the millions affected by Alzheimer's and dementia, but for my own father, as well."
Cellino and Barnes is also a platinum sponsor. Other local corporate support comes from Merchants Insurance, Tim Hortons, Northgate Health Care Facility, Empower for Elders and Wheatfield Commons.
For more information about Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's Association and local programs and services, visit www.alz.org/WNY or call 1.800-272-3900.

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