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‘A world without Alzheimer’s’

Warren walks to help that mission

Photos submitted to Times Observer Opening ceremony with Sherrie Flannery, MC; Kelsey Angove singing the National Anthem; Jack Lynds and Mike Moore displaying the American Flag; and Pastor Bill Beatty gave the invocation.

Recently, more than 100 walkers on 26 teams joined the Fight for Alzheimer’s First Survivor at Betts Park in Warren.

Over $26,000 has been raised to date toward a goal of $35,000 set for the Warren walk and earmarked to help further the mission, research, education, and awareness of the disease in the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Over 5.8 million Americans are living with the disease, with that number expected to rise to 14 million by 2050. Additionally,

there are more than 16 million caregivers providing unpaid care for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

The vision of the chapter: A world without Alzheimer’s Disease.

Pre-walk activities included POUND warm-up exercises led by the YMCA staff and hula hoop fun with Amanda Slagle, owner of Vivacious Hoopsters, directing those enjoying the colorful hoops. DJ Dave Hulings, Infinity Entertainment, provided the music throughout the event. Light refreshments and water were donated by several sponsors: McDonald’s, Warren General Hospital, Peterson-Blick Funeral Home, Tim Horton’s, and the Life NWPA hot dog stand. 2019 national sponsor, Edward Jones, and local sponsor, Targeted Pet Treats, were present with promotion gifts from their respective companies and Warren General Hospital sponsored a water station with first-aid supplies.

Photos submitted to Times Observer Promise Garden Ceremony. Each walker received a flower symbolic of his/her connection with Alzheimer’s Disease. (Orange- Advocacy; Purple-Lost a loved one to the disease; Yellow- caregiver; Blue- living with Alzheimer’s Disease; and one white flower symbolic of our hope for Alzheimer’s first survivor).

The Promise Garden Ceremony began with a welcome and presentation by Michael Jones, representative of the 2019 national presenting sponsor, Edward Jones Financial Corp. As a walk sponsor, Edward Jones has provided $2.4 million in corporate donations to advance the cause. Following the opening presentation, people shared reasons for walking– those working in the area of advocacy to influence government officials for the cause carried an orange flower; people with Alzheimer’s Disease held a blue flower; families who have lost a loved one to the disease carried a purple flower; and, those that are caregivers were represented with a yellow flower.

Finally, a single white flower was presented by Aspen Brecht, four years old, and a member of the Targeted Pet Treats team with her parents. It signifies the hope we all have as we continue the fight for the first survivor of Alzheimer’s Disease. The flowers were placed in the Promise Garden along the finish line of the walk.

Several awards were given for grand champions and champions based on the donations received at $1,000 and $500 levels. Ron Pazderski, Vicki Anthony, and Carmen Bevacqua were recognized as grand champions. Erin Fluent, Carol Stowe, Arden Knapp, and Linda Knapp earned the champion recognition.

Top teams walking for 2019 were the Caregivers Support Group-Warren, Targeted Pet Treats, and Whirley Muggers.

Purple 4 A Purpose, a new challenge presented this year was a business-to-business competition to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Whirley DrinkWorks came in on top to receive the traveling trophy, followed closely by Targeted Pet Treats, and Warren General Hospital.

Photos submitted to Times Observer Jim and Marty Adams as they proceed from the start/finish arch.

Walk efforts lead toward better methods of treatment, prevention, and a cure. Although the walk is over for this year, donations may continue to be sent through the end of 2019 to the Alzheimer’s Association-Greater PA Chapter, c/o Jenn Brownlee, Warren Walk, 1600 Peninsula Dr., Suite 15, Erie, PA 16505.

Photos submitted to Times Observer The Bevevino Family, Ray Goetz, and other “regulars” returning to walk again leading the way.

Photos submitted to Times Observer WAHS Key Club taking a break from volunteering to have a picture taken.

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