10/09/11 — Teams still needed for annual Alzheimer's Walk

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Teams still needed for annual Alzheimer's Walk

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 9, 2011 1:50 AM

Teams and individuals are still needed to participate in the 10th annual Alzheimer's Walk, planned for  Oct. 22 at Wayne Community College.

In addition to funding education and services provided through Alzheimer's NC. Inc., the event can also be a way to support people who relatives are facing effects of the disease.

"I would like to encourage more families to come out and walk with us -- invite neighbors and friends to try to create awareness that we create at this walk," said Anne Paugh, outreach and community development director of Alzheimer's N.C. Inc. "This is a very difficult and emotional time for families who are dealing with this disease. It would be wonderful if their neighbors and friends would put together a team and come and support (the walk)."

This year's theme, "Remember When -- The 1950s," reflects just how precarious and unforgiving Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia can be.

Oftentimes, Mrs. Paugh explained, those with Alzheimer's can recall things from bygone eras and yet have no recollection of names or family events from the present.

"The reason we chose the '50s theme is because those were very positive years for this generation," she said. "They were young. They were in love. They were starting families. And even though they cannot remember what happened five minutes ago, they can remember those years."

Last year's event brought out 400 walkers and raised $62,000. Because of the economy, the goal had been $50,000.

"We were happily surprised that we raised that last year," Mrs. Paugh said, admitting to being guardedly optimistic that the number of participants and proceeds will match or exceed that total this year.

"One hundred percent of the funds raised remain here in eastern North Carolina. It goes for education and training for families, caregivers, professional caregivers. It goes for providing services and programs for families, advocacy and research."

There is no cost to participate in the walk, but teams are encouraged to get pledges. And anyone who  raises $50 for the cause will receive a T-shirt, she added. Team packets also contain sample e-mails that can be sent out eliciting donations.

Teams and individuals can register in advance online, at alznc.org, or the day of the event. Registration starts at 9 a.m., with the two-mile walk to commence at 10 a.m.

There will also be other activities going on that day, including entertainment by Starlight Band and Shag Daddy, as well as "Elvis," plus a display of 50s cars and exhibitors providing resources for families.

The walk will be held rain or shine, Mrs. Paugh said, with indoor provisions made possible on the WCC campus.

Following the walk, refreshments will be available and awards will be handed out in eight different categories of teams -- assisted living facilities, businesses, churches, families, medical services, nursing homes, senior organizations, and students and youth. There will also be prizes for the oldest walker, team with the best theme costume and best theme exhibit table.

Donations can also be made payable to Alzheimer's North Carolina Inc., P.O. Box 10608, Goldsboro, NC 27532.

For more information, contact Mrs. Paugh at 252-933-4617 or apaugh@alznc.org.