On Sunday, Oct. 9, 600 people participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s Santa Monica raised nearly $78,000 for the cause.
The 382 walkers — many wearing purple, the official color of Alzheimer’s awareness — enjoyed a two-mile, non-competitive walk around Tongva Park. The amount raised has since grown to more than $86,000 as donations continue to be accepted through the end of the year.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with a new case diagnosed every three seconds, according to the group. By 2050, an estimated 131.5 million people worldwide will be living with dementia.
Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Breena Gold, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter, thanked the walk teams, participating individuals, corporate supporters and volunteers for their efforts to help fund critical, no-cost community services and research towards a cure.
“Alzheimer’s may be relentless, but so are we,” said Gold.
Among the day’s participants was Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns, chair of The Judy Fund, the fastest growing family fund in the history of the Alzheimer’s Association. Stearns and more than 35 members of The Team Judy Fund raised more than $10,000. Other top fundraisers were the Little Giants ($8,000+), Maria’s Sisters ($7,000+) and Walk with M&M Steinbroner ($5,000+). A total of 76 teams participated.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s Los Angeles happens on Nov. 12 at LA Live. Visit alz.org/socal to start a team or support a walker.
— Regan Kibbee