Rounding off January and Alzheimer’s Awareness month, the Alzheimer’s society of Niagara is holding its biggest fundraising and awareness generating event, the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.
The event will be taking place within Brock University on Sunday January 26, registration will start at 9:30 a.m. at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. The walk itself will begin at 11:30 a.m. There will be a Wellness Fair in Guernsey Market Hall where individuals can collect stickers from visiting vendors and then try their luck at the prize wheel.
Along the way there will be stations where walkers have a chance to learn about what it’s like to live with dementia, as well as things to do to keep your brain healthy through diet, social activities and physical exercise. There will also be free product samples given out.
“You’re going to be able to find out what the Alzheimer’s society offers and how you can come into our office, or make a referral to come receive some of our services, which are all free,” said Cassandra Best, Manager of fund development at the Alzheimer Society of the Niagara Region.
In 2019, more than 37,000 Canadians participated in the Walk for Alzheimer’s raising a record $6.2 million and the event seems to only be growing. As of Monday Jan. 13, there were 40 more online registered walkers than last year.
“Due to our demographic, we find that there’s a good portion of people that don’t go online, they fill out the actual paper and bring it in,” said Cassandra. “Also as of Monday, we were $5000 in pledges ahead of last year so it looks like it’s going to be bigger than last year. It’s getting more attention. We have more dignitaries coming up this year, more volunteers. More people seeking us out than in previous years. I think it speaks to the fact that the number of people with dementia in Niagara are growing too so more people are affected by it.”
This walk is open to all ages and mobility levels and will also feature Fluffy the Clown, musical entertainment by Cory Cruise and a raffle table. Kids who come along are sure to enjoy the Kids Zone presented by Babysitting Angels.
“This event can be very powerful, it’s very positive, there’s great vibes. Everybody that comes loves it! They feel that the time flies by and there’s positive energy in the room and I think that almost everyone that comes, comes back, they want to come back,” said Best. “[The walk] is really meaningful for most of our walkers and participants like they’re there for a reason and I think that it’s pretty powerful.”
All funds raised from the event will go toward local programs and services that improve quality of life for people living with dementia and their families in the community.
“Unfortunately there’s no cure for this and so a lot of times you feel really helpless. What can we do? And it gets to a point where they need more help or medical assistance than you know someone in their home can maybe give. But this is something we can do,” said Best. “We can show up, we can come to the walk. We can raise a little bit of money. And so I think in that sense it’s very positive and it’s something tangible that you can do to make a difference, when it feels like often it’s very helpless and there’s not a lot you can do.”
There will be free parking in Lot D with shuttle service to Schmon Tower entrance. Individuals who attend will have a chance to win fabulous prizes, such as a $1000 Via Rail Travel Credit, Rascal Flatts VIP Fan Experience, Community Suite for 12 People to Attend an Ice Dogs Hockey Game, Paint Night for 8 People at The Manhattan Bar & Grill, a TV donated by Right At Home and much more.
To register for the event, or to find out more, interested individuals should go to www.alzgiving.ca/niagara.