Across the country at certain times of the year, people walk in solidarity with a Promise Garden flower in a color that best represents their connection to Alzheimer’s Disease. A blue flower represents walking for a loved one who is currently dealing with Alzheimer’s, a purple flower signifies a loved one lost from the disease, yellow represents a caregiver of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, and orange is for everyone wishing for an Alzheimer’s-free world.
In the last two decades, Alzheimer’s-related deaths have increased 145 percent and one in three seniors is affected. In Nevada alone, more than 47,000 people suffer from Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia and that number is expected to rise to 64,000 by the year 2025.
This Saturday the Reno-Sparks community and 135 teams will gather at the Sparks Marina for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association. The walk has been held at the Sparks Marina for the last several years because it is a perfect walking distance and it has a lot of space.
The Alzheimer’s Association is a nonprofit that hosts 600 Walks nationwide with 17 of them being in the Northern California/ Northern Nevada area. This year, as of September 16, at least $184,800 has been raised to help meet the Reno-Sparks Walk’s $280,000 goal and fundraising will continue through the end of 2019.
“The money we raise provides care, support, and education services to people,” says the Northern Nevada Alzheimer’s Association Walk manager Tim Trefts. The support is provided at no cost to families dealing with Alzheimer’s thanks to most its funds generated from the Walk.
The organization had 1,500 participants last year and is hoping for at least 1,800 this year. Top fundraising groups so far for the Northern Nevada Walk include Edward Jones, Sigma Kappa, and MorningStar Senior Living.
“We’re expecting hundreds of participants, volunteers, and sponsors to come out,” Trefts says. “The weather’s supposed to be 77 (degrees) and beautiful, and we couldn’t do this without our sponsors,” he adds. The Northern Nevada Walk to End Alzheimer’s gold sponsors include: The Arbor’s, Bill Pearce Honda, Carson Tahoe Care Center, GreatCall, Harrahs/Harvey’s, Right at Home, Stone Valley. This year’s platinum sponsor is Tamarack Junction. Every registered participant who raises more than $100 will receive a T-shirt.
Even though the Walk is on Saturday, it’s not too late to participate. To give a donation, join a team, or sign up, then visit act.alz.org/ renosparks2019. On the day of, registration opens at 8 a.m., a ceremony will be held at 9am, and the Walk begins at 9:30 a.m.
All Walk activities are hosted at 300 Howard Drive on the northwestern end of the Sparks Marina.