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The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for care and support for all impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and research to find ways to prevent, treat and end the disease.
On Oct. 3, the Niagara County Walk to End Alzheimer’s will bring more than 700 people to Lewiston – people who have been touched in some way by dementia. Leading the effort will be an executive with DePaul Senior Living in Wheatfield.
John Tomes is the sales and marketing director at Wheatfield Commons, a DePaul Senior Living Community. He will chair this year’s event in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter, which oversees five other walks across the region.
Corporate sponsorship and peer-to-peer fundraising for the walk fund the Chapter’s local outreach, which includes free education and supportive services, as well as critical research. In 2019, the Lewiston walk raised more than $105,000.
“It is through my experience in working with my memory care residents and their families over the past 21 years that I learned about compassion, respect and caring for everyone that this dreaded disease has affected,” Tomes said. “Eighteen years ago, I decided to take a more active approach in finding a solution, and I became a volunteer with the Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. The association and their volunteers taught me that, if you want to get things done, you need to make things happen. I made it my mission to be a leader in raising awareness and funds, so that one day a cure for this disease could be found. This is why I Walk every year, and this is why I am honored to chair for the Lewiston Walk this year.”
Tomes heads up marketing efforts at Wheatfield Commons, Niagara County’s newest assisted-living and memory care community. He has been working in those fields for the past 21 years. Tomes is a resident of Williamsville, where he and his spouse of 44 years, Maria, raised two children.
Individual, family and friend and corporate teams raise funds for the walk through various means, including yard sales, raffles, dress-down days and the sales of various purple items, such as bracelets and paper flowers.
Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter Executive Director Jill Horner welcomed Tomes to the Walk leadership group.
“I am delighted that John has accepted this critical leadership role to support families in his community and across Western New York. His determination and commitment strengthens our fight for the first survivor of Alzheimer’s,” she said.
The Lewiston walk takes off from Artpark, 450 S. Fourth St. Registration is at 9 a.m., followed by a ceremony at 10 a.m. and the walk at 10:15 a.m. Click here for more information.
Other walks this year are set for Buffalo on Sept. 12, the Southern Tier and Orleans County on Sept. 26, Genesee/Wyoming counties on Oct. 3 and Chautauqua County on Oct. 10. All walk locations are currently recruiting volunteers to serve on organizing committees. Roles include marketing, recruitment, sponsorship and logistics. To volunteer, call the WNY Chapter office at 716-626-0600. To learn more about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s or to start a fundraising team, visit www.alz.org/Walk.
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
About the Western New York Chapter
The local chapter provides programs, services and other resources for those living with dementia, their care partners, health care professionals and others across eight counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming.
Learn more by calling 716-626-0600 during traditional business hours, or 24/7 at 800-272-3900 or www.alz.org/WNY.