Despite the hurdles of organizing an event during the COVID-19 pandemic, Western New York’s famed generosity once again rose to meet the challenge.
The Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter organized the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” in six local communities this fall to raise funds to provide free resources for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. While the walks were altered to reflect the need for social distancing and other safety precautions, individuals and small teams of families and friends hiked through parks, strolled their neighborhoods and wandered along trails of their choice instead of gathering by the hundreds in one location.
“Our goal is, and has always been, a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s,” said Niagara County Co-Chairman John Tomes. “What this difficult year has taught me is that nothing is impossible when we tackle problems as a team. As we continue to work together, we will make our vision a reality.”
Bob Graffeo also co-chaired this walk. He said, “Despite the challenges of this year's walk due to COVID-19, our dedicated committee members and community came together to make the 2020 Niagara County ‘Walk to End Alzheimer's’ a success.”
To date, the WNY walks have raised more than $500,000 to ensure those living with dementia have ongoing access to programs and services continue. Participants can raise funds through the end of the year to qualify for incentive gifts and, for a limited time, earn a match through a generous donation provided by The Hooper Family Foundation. Volunteers are also organizing an online basket raffle that is open to the public. Raffle tickets are available through Dec. 10 at https://wnyraffle.ourraffle.org/.
“We are so grateful to our fundraisers, sponsors, donors and volunteers who, despite facing unprecedented economic and personal upheaval this year, came through for the thousands of their neighbors who are living with Alzheimer's disease or dementia," said Chapter Executive Director Jill Horner. “These donations fund vital resources across the entire region, as well as research that we know will one day end this disease."
For more information about how to support the Western New York Walk, visit www.alz.org/WNYwalk or call 1-800-272-3900.
The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support.
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.