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Alzheimer’s walks raise funds to support caregivers

Take a giant step toward helping tens of thousands of those caring for, and worrying about, someone with dementia by participating in or donating to one of several upcoming installments of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The 2-mile walks, including one set two weeks from now in Buffalo, are the largest source of donations for the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association of Western New York, which provides free resources including educational programs and support groups across the region. The chapter also provides a toll-free help line – (800) 272-3900 – for round the clock access to trained and confidential care consultants.

Alzheimer’s disease – a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills – cannot be prevented, slowed or cured, though research continues (see related story, Page 5). The Alzheimer’s Association has been a major source of funding for research.

The chapter plans the following walks in the next few weeks:

• Next Saturday: State Street Park, Medina; Point Gratiot Park, Dunkirk

• Sept. 19: Delaware Park, Buffalo

• Sept. 26: Genesee County Nursing Home, Batavia; Artpark, Lewiston

• Oct. 3: Village Park, Perry

Each walk follows a 10 a.m. ceremony that pays tribute to those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. The events include basket and 50/50 raffles, light refreshments and free parking. The Buffalo walk includes free admission to the Buffalo Zoo after the walk.

It’s free to register for the walks, but donations are strongly encouraged, with incentives for attaining certain fundraising levels. Register online at alz.org/WNY or by calling (800) 272-3900.

The Western New York chapter serves Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties, which combined have an estimated 55,000 people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, and 165,000 caregivers helping tend to the needs of those afflicted.