More than 70 residents in the Cowley County area participated in last weekend’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s event at the American Legion in Arkansas City, which benefited the Alzheimer’s Association and united everyone in a movement to reclaim the future for millions.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s route was through downtown Arkansas City.

“We had a wonderful walk this year. It was a gorgeous morning and we are excited to announce that we surpassed our goals,” said chairperson Sarah Griggs. Nine teams, along with the Walk’s sponsors, raised more than $13,600 to fund Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs.

“I was inspired by Cowley County residents uniting in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease at Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Renee Duxler, Central and Western Kansas Alzheimer’s Association development director. “With funds raised, the Alzheimer’s Association will be able to provide much-needed care and support to people affected by the disease, as well as fund critically needed Alzheimer’s research.”

Walk to End Alzheimer’s participants did more than complete the walk through downtown Arkansas City. They learned more about Alzheimer’s disease and the Alzheimer’s Association’s critical role in the fight against it, including the latest about Alzheimer’s research and current clinical trials, how they can become involved in advocacy efforts at home and in Washington, D.C., and the association’s support programs and services.

The event also included an emotional tribute to those who have experienced or are experiencing Alzheimer’s disease.

KSOK Radio kicked off the event by providing a live remote at this year’s Walk location. In the opening and closing ceremonies, the organizing committee recognized a few individuals and one of the teams at the Walk. Sarah Griggs, Sue Lancaster, Teresa McCoy, and Charlie Miller joined the Champions Club and received a “champions” medal by raising $500 or more individually.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Seven individuals were recognized this year in the Grand Champions Club for raising more than $1,000 individually — Tara Clawson, Holly McWilliams, Trudy Minkler, Stacy Pike, Sheila Riedl, Sarah Standerfer and Casey Zavala. They raised more than $7,500 combined, and received Grand Champions shirts and a medal to wear with pride.

Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor took first place for raising more than $5,600. Minkler also was recognized for raising the most money individually overall, with a total of $1,570 for the third year in a row.

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic and is now the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease will escalate rapidly, increasing well beyond today’s more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s.

In Kansas alone, there are 51,000 people living with Alzheimer’s. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.alz.org/walk.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association has mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk and Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support.

Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.