The Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter planning to stage the annual Niagara County Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Oct. 2, in a familiar location: Artpark at 450 S. Fourth St., in Lewiston.
A press release noted, “All in-person events will implement safety protocols including physical distancing, contactless registration, hand-sanitizing stations and more. Masks are not required, but are welcome and will be available on-site. We will continue to closely monitor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local guidelines to ensure Walk events adhere to recommendations and are safe for attendees. For those who prefer to participate by walking from home, around their neighborhood or on a favorite trail, they can still engage in many Walk-day experiences through the Walk website and mobile app. Information about the app is available in the Walk participation center when participants register at alz.org/WNYwalk.”
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is critical to the chapter’s efforts to provide care and support for all impacted by dementia across Niagara County, as well as Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Money raised by Walk participants ensures the chapter can continue to provide free education programs, support groups, respite training services, a 24/7 helpline and research funding.
Among those who will be participating in the Lewiston walk is Sister Teresa Miklitsch, OSF. The provincial councilor from the Sisters of St. Francis at Stella Niagara leads the Miklitsch family walk team.
“My sister, the Hon. Catherine (Cathy) M. Miklitsch, died of Alzheimer's on March 12 of this year. I lived with her. She adjusted daily to the impact of her disease. She was a woman of wisdom who served in the Rockland County Family Court in the 9th Judicial District for almost 40 years. Now, we (my family and care partners) walk in her honor and share her story on how to live each day to the fullest,” Sister Terri said. “My sisters, Rosemary Miklitsch Rapino and Mary Frances Miklitsch, will walk with me to also honor our mother and poet, Catherine (Kitty) Berry Miklitsch, who died of Alzheimer's on April 10, 2016. One of her final poems is a living testimony to someone with Alzheimer's.”
Sister Terri said she sees the same spirit and courage in her ministry at Stella Niagara where she witnesses women of wisdom struggle with dementia and Alzheimer's. She sees them as a fulfillment of the mission statement of the Sisters of St. Francis: signs of hope in a struggling world.
Sister Terri has surpassed her fundraising goal of $1,000 and, for the fourth year in a row, will be recognized as a champion fundraiser by the Alzheimer’s Association.
The late Hon. Catherine M. Miklitsch on the route of the 2019 Lewiston Walk to End Alzheimer’s. (Photo courtesy of Sister Teresa Miklitsch)
A key feature of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the Promise Garden, a mission-focused experience that symbolizes the fight against the disease with colorful pinwheel flowers. The flowers come in four colors, which represent a connection to the disease: blue is for those living with dementia, yellow signifies a care partner, purple honors those lost to the disease and orange illustrates support for our fight to end Alzheimer’s.
There are no fees to attend, but as this event is the major means of support for the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association, fundraising is strongly encouraged – and incentives are offered for meeting specific goals (including the 2021 Walk to End Alzheimer’s purple T-shirt). Free registration is available at alz.org/WNYwalk. Once registered, participants have access to the online participant center from which they can share their efforts and progress on social media, create personal fundraising emails, share photos or videos of the reasons they are walking and more.
For additional information and to inquire about corporate sponsorship or vendor tables, call Lynn Westcott during traditional business hours at 716-440-4251 or email [email protected].
Walks, presented by Uniland Development Co., are also scheduled in Buffalo on Sept. 18, Batavia and Dunkirk on Sept. 25, Allegany on Oct. 2 and on Oct. 9 in Medina.
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 Western New York. Learn more by calling 716-626-0600 or 24/7 at 800-272-3900 or alz.org/WNYwalk.