DuBOIS — Despite the on and off spouts of rain, the 2019 Tricounty Walk to End Alzheimer’s brought its largest crowd yet to the DuBois City Park Sunday.
Walkers representing someone with Alzheimer’s, caregivers and those who have lost a loved one to the terrible disease coated the park in purple that afternoon.
Chelsea Johnson, a representative of WJAC-TV, served as the event’s master of ceremonies.
In the opening ceremony, Johnson talked about the many people impacted by Alzheimer’s including patients and their caregivers.
“The money we raise helps the Alzheimer’s Association continue to provide critical care and support services,” Johnson said. “Your efforts here today also help the association continue its work to be the leading voice for Alzheimer’s, rallying a network of advocates to speak up for the needs and rights of those facing this disease.”
Money raised helps the Alzheimer’s Association’s promising studies and research, Johnson added.
The different-colored windmill flowers raised high during the “Promise Garden Ceremony” represented a person’s connection to Alzheimer’s and their reason for attending the walk — blue for those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, yellow representing caregivers, purple for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease, orange in support of the cause and white for one day hopefully finding a cure. People planted their flowers in the grass following the walk.
During her speech, walk Chairperson Marcy Murphy talked about how much she has seen this event grow over the years, recalling when it started with just a small pavilion and crowd. Murphy also thanked the walk committee members for all of their hard work.
“I’m a little bit emotional,” Murphy said. “This is our biggest walk ever. We are growing and we’re making a difference, and it just warms my heart. I hope next year we are even bigger.”
This was Alissa Janoski’s first year serving as walk manager.
“This event looks great, and turned out really nice,” she said.
Janoski said the event welcomed approximately 20 teams total. Altogether, the walk raised $42,790 — 95 percent of its $45,000 goal.
The walk’s top fundraisers were recognized — Helen McBride, Kim Forester and Tom Berryhill, as well as the top fundraising teams — the Camiotti Crew, Leo’s Lions and Marcy’s Little Friends.
Matt Reitz and Candace Waxler spoke on behalf of the event’s national sponsor, Edward Jones Financial.
Several walkers also brought their pups, most of whom were sporting a purple bandana. Participants were also seen wearing purple capes and shirts.
The event also offered a large basket raffle, which offered almost 45 prizes at the end of the day.