Memory Walk set for October 15 at park
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 10, 2005 1:56 PM
It used to be that when Anne Paugh would attend health fairs, people would walk briskly past her Alzheimer's awareness booth. Now, she says, many ask for information.
Increased awareness of the disease in recent years has led to a heightened curiosity about it and its effects.
"Alzheimer's is the disease you hope you never get," Mrs. Paugh said. "I think people are starting to become more comfortable to talk about it."
Mrs. Paugh has been active in the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and served as chairman of its annual Memory Walk in Goldsboro. Last year, the fund-raising event was expanded to become the Neuse Regional Walk, with people from Lenoir, Greene, Duplin and Johnston counties also participating.
The fourth annual Memory Walk will be Oct. 15 at Herman Park. The event will include entertainment, food and beverages and clowns and face-painting. Two routes will be available for walkers, one a mile long and the other three miles long.
Mrs. Paugh said organizers are already enlisting teams to participate.
"Teams can be from churches, businesses, families, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, health care organizations, senior organizations, and students," she said. "We have had neighbors, groups that walk in neighborhoods."
The event is a way for anyone who has a friend or loved one suffering from Alzheimer's to take a step toward conquering the disease, Mrs. Paugh said. Last year, more than 400 walkers participated, raising more than $75,000. Most of the money brought in remains in the local community, although donors can designate that it go toward research.
Teams not only raise money for the cause but compete against one another for awards, she said.
The chapter provides educational programs, a lending library, and access to other resources, she said. Regional conferences have also been held in the spring, with physicians and guest speakers on hand and a variety of information provided free to families and healthcare workers who attend.
Education about the disease is important, Mrs. Paugh said. A Wayne County Alzheimer's support group meets monthly.
"Sometimes it's not just the prevention, it's answering, 'How do I deal with my neighbor who has dementia or help a person at my church?'" she said. "Friends don't know how to communicate with them."
For more information on the Alzheimer's Association, its services, or the Memory Walk, call 759-2267 in Goldsboro, 252-523-6435 in Kinston, 919-965-2814 or 252-747-5436 in Snow Hill.
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