Annual Alzheimer’s walk altered due to COVID-19

But it didn’t stop the residents of College View Manor from putting together a walk of their own.

JOPLIN, Mo (KOAM) – According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 5 million people in the US suffer from Alzheimer’s, with no known cure, raising awareness and funds for research is vital for families and caregivers.

“The thing is we don’t have a survivor, so we are looking for our cure to be able to have that first survivor so it’s important and critical that we push forward in the advancement of this research” said Alzheimer’s Walk Manager, Sam Detrick.

But this year the walk looked a little different due to COVID-19.

“Normally we walk in a large group and everyone gathers for our opening ceremony and they have a promise garden ceremony, but this year due to COVID, we’re actually walking everyone you know in small groups in their neighborhoods, businesses are gathering together and walking so even though it’s a small group it kind of feels like a large group because were all walking from everywhere” added Detrick.

But it didn’t stop the residents of College View Manor from putting together a walk of their own. For many, it’s personal…

“I just think it’s the greatest charity, my father died of Alzheimer’s and living here we can see people all the time being affected by it and that’s why College View is so intense on seeing how much money we can raise to find a cure. It just seems to be a very important thing to all of us” said College View Manor resident, Patricia Grady.

Last year the team raised $13,000. So far this year they have more than $5,000, though they are not sure if they will beat last year’s numbers.

“The money we raised this year is just in house donations from residents and their families and friends, other years we have different activities we can raise more money with but COVID put an end to that” added Grady.

This walk serves as a reminder that the fight against Alzheimer’s is a marathon, not a sprint…but together, the journey feels hopeful.

“The more I see it the more I’m enthused about seeing what we can do to help find a cure and raise money” said Grady.

A promise garden to honor all those impacted by Alzheimer’s was also on display in a “drive-thru” format at Mercy park.

The goal for the Joplin area is to raise $55,000 by December 30th.