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Walk to end Alzheimer’s set for Oct. 28

By Staff | Oct 19, 2017

An annual walk set for next weekend in Fort Myers will help raise funds for a worthy cause.

The 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Fort Myers, FL will be held on Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. at Centennial Park in Fort Myers. Registration will open at 8 a.m., followed by the opening ceremony at 9 a.m.

The proceeds from the event will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Besides fund raising for programs and services, which those are all free to folks in the community, we also want to raise awareness – for folks to know we’re here to help in the community if they need us,” Ann Lefcakis, the event manager with the association, said.

She noted that there is currently no cure or preventative measures for Alzheimer’s.

“Additionally, we are fund raising for research to help fight for our first Alzheimer’s survivor,” Lefcakis said.

Last year, the walk raised approximately $86,000.

“There were about 600 walkers,” she said.

This year, organizers are hoping to sign up 650 participants.

“Our goal this year is $105,000,” Lefcakis said.

The three-mile route will take walkers over the Caloosahatchee Bridge. For those seeking an easier route, there is also a two-mile one available that will turn walkers around at the base of the bridge.

“There is a shorter route that is family-friendly if they want to bring strollers or wheelchairs,” she said.

It is free to register for and participate in the event.

“So everybody’s welcome,” Lefcakis said.

Those who choose to fund raise and collect at least $100 will receive an event T-shirt.

“We can accept donations there, and they can also contribute online,” she said.

A continental breakfast will be provided to the walkers.

“When they get there, we’ll have a couple things going on,” Lefcakis said.

At the Promise Garden, participants will be invited to pick a flower.

“The flower’s color will represent their connection to the cause,” she said.

The blue ones are for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, yellow is for those who are supporting or caring for someone with the disease, and purple flowers are for those who lost someone to Alzheimer’s.

The orange ones are for those who support the cause and a vision of a world without the disease in it.

For the first time this year, there will also be white flowers.

“Which will represent our first Alzheimer’s survivor,” Lefcakis said.

At the event, attendees will have a chance to visit with the association’s community partners.

“They can also learn how to get more involved in our advocacy efforts or with the association,” she said.

Live entertainment will be provided.

Organizers urged the public to register and take part next weekend.

“Unfortunately, the amount of people in our community that are being affected or those being diagnosed is growing significantly,” Lefcakis said. “By taking part today, we’re able to advance support and research for not just our generation, but those ahead of us, too.”

To register in advance, visit act.alz.org/fortmyers or text ALZWALK to 51555.

For more information, visit the event website.

Centennial Park is at 2000 W. First St., Fort Myers.