Despite the hurdles of organizing an event during the COVID-19 pandemic, Western New York’s famed generosity once again rose to meet the challenge.
The Alzheimer’s Association® Western New York Chapter organized the Walk to End Alzheimer’s® in six local communities this fall to raise funds to provide free resources for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. While the Walks were altered to reflect the need for social distancing and other safety precautions, individuals and small teams of families and friends hiked through parks, strolled their neighborhoods and wandered along trails of their choice instead of gathering by the hundreds in one location.
“Don’t let what you can’t do, stop you from what you can do.” Nancy Dunbar served on the committee that organized the Walk in Chautauqua County. “Despite the adversity of the pandemic this year, we prevailed on Walk Day! We thank you for your support on walk day, and for your continued support as we continue to research, raise the funding, and implement plans to eradicate this terrible disease.”
To date, the WNY Walks have raised more than $500,000 and efforts to ensure those living with dementia have ongoing access to programs and services continue. Participants can raise funds through the end of the year to qualify for incentive gifts and for a limited time, earn a match through a generous donation provided by The Hooper Family Foundation. Volunteers are also organizing an on-line basket raffle that is open to the public. Raffle tickets are available through December 10 at https://wnyraffle.ourraffle.org/ .
“We are so grateful to our fundraisers, sponsors, donors and volunteers who, despite facing unprecedented economic and personal upheaval this year, came through for the thousands of their neighbors who are living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia,” said Chapter Executive Director Jill Horner. “These donations fund vital resources across the entire region, as well as research that we know will one day end this disease.”