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County’s walk for Alzheimers – help for today, hope for tomorrow

Participants donned rain wear and carried umbrellas for the Alzheimer Society’s first walk that combined previous walks held in Picton and Wellington.

About 60 people walked through heavy rain and cold to raise funds and awareness for The Alzheimer Society of Hastings Prince Edward.

This is the first year for a combined walk – amalgamating Picton and Wellington walks into one, held at Sandbanks Provincial Park on Saturday. Walkers raised $7,000 for research and local services and another $5,000 was contributed through business sponsorships.

“This is the County coming together for the first time,” said Amelia Huffman, the society’s fund development co-ordinator. “It’s too bad about the weather, but we have a lot of great support here.”

Nancy Kowvacz, walk organizer told the walkers it was greatly appreciated to see them come out in such poor weather.

Cousins Blake Benway and Brayden Convery were walking in honour of their grandpa and great grandpa Saturday at the Sandbanks.

“Some of you are walking for someone near and dear to your heart and others are here for community involvement to help us out and we very much appreciate it,” she said.

Councillor Lenny Epstein took a break from flood-related issues at his home to bring greetings from the municipality, and offered thanks to all who support community events such as this walk.

“Alzheimers and dementia affect a lot of people, and their families in the County,” he said. “So even on a day like today, to see those who are committed to walking with other members of the community for something that affects so many people and is so important to so many people, is really heartening to see.”

Hank, an English Bulldog, kept his paws dry, allowed to ride snuggled up with the Alzheimer Bear for Saturday’s walk.

 

In the past year, the local Alzheimer Society has offered support and services to more than 1,100 clients through workshops, training and education sessions.

It is estimated that one in 10 seniors in the County are living with some form of dementia.

The Society receives 40 per cent of its budget from the South East LHIN and depends on donations and volunteer support for the remaining 60 per cent. Funds raised go to research, and to services within the two counties.

There are approximately 175,000 people in Ontario living with dementia, with the number expected to grow as the population ages. It is estimated that 6.5 per cent are 66 years old and younger.

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