10/12/04 — Memory Walk scheduled for Saturday

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Memory Walk scheduled for Saturday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 12, 2004 1:59 PM

A successful conference for family and caregivers of Alzheimer's patients led to the expansion of this year's Memory Walk fund-raiser, which will be held this weekend.

The first Neuse Regional Alzheimer's Memory Walk will be on Saturday morning at Herman Park. Registration begins at 9, and the walk starts at 10. Participants may choose to walk one mile or three miles.

The event has been held in Wayne County for the past two years. This year, it will include Duplin, Greene, Johnston, Lenoir and Sampson counties.

In 2003, $56,000 was raised from the walk. Proceeds helped sponsor a regional caregiver's conference at Wayne Community College in April. Nearly 200 family members, volunteers and professional health-care workers of Alzheimer's patients attended the free workshop.

Anne Paugh, organizer of the conference and walk chairman, said the turnout to the caregivers conference proved there is an interest and a need to promote the subject.

"Attendance at our conference showed us that so many people are looking for more information about Alzheimer's and how to better care for those with the disease," she said. "We realized we could broaden our outreach efforts if we could raise awareness and money in neighboring counties, not just here in Wayne County."

Proceeds from the walk will be used to provide programs and services for Alzheimer's patients, their families and caregivers in the six participating counties. They also support education and training, quarterly newsletters, and provide books and materials, all at little or no cost to the recipients.

As of Monday, Mrs. Paugh said, 300 walkers have signed up, already 100 more than the same time last year. She said she expected around 450 will participate on Saturday.

Pre-registration will be held on Wednesday for those who want to do so ahead of time. Individuals and teams can sign up between noon and 2 p.m. at BB&T on Ash Street. T-shirts for walkers will be distributed and money can also be turned in at that time.

Mrs. Paugh said to date there has been a variety of people responding from the community.

"You get a lot of health-care workers, a lot of families," she said. "We have had a lot of response from churches."

At the conclusion of the walk, awards are presented to the teams that raise the most money as well as the adult and child who contribute the most, and the oldest and youngest walkers.

Categories for the recognition include assisted living facilities, businesses, churches, family teams, medical teams, nursing home teams, and senior organizations. This year, a student category was also added.

"We have got more young people participating this year than in the past," she said.

Health Occupations Students of America, which has clubs in county high schools, are studying Alzheimer's disease this year and a number of student groups have signed up to walk. Members of Indian Princesses will also be walking with their fathers.

There will also be activities going on for those who don't go on the walk. Friends and family members will be entertained by music and local artists painting. Exhibitors will have a variety of information available, including representatives from pharmaceutical companies and Duke University Research Center.

A "memory wall" will be featured honoring those affected by Alzheimer's. Pictures, poems, and other items can be contributed for the wall and will be on display throughout the day.

For more information on the event, call 759-2267.