BRACEBRIDGE - Families gathered from across Muskoka and Parry Sound recently to honour loved ones who lived or are living with Alzheimer’s disease, raising $12,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society of Muskoka in the process.
Over 75 community members from Muskoka and Parry Sound, from 18 months of age to seniors, attended the Walk for Memories held at Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School recently, helping to raise $12,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society of Muskoka.
The fifth annual Walk for Memories wrapped up Alzheimer’s Awareness Month on Sunday, Jan. 29, with an hour-long walk through the hallways of Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School in Bracebridge. Bringing pictures and stories of loved ones for the memory board, supporters gathered pledges and travelled from across Muskoka and Parry Sound to attend the walk, the only one held in the area.
“The thing that’s really nice about having it in the high school is it’s warm, there’s bright little alcoves and windows. A lot of people have never seen inside the high school, and there’s also accessible ramps, which is wonderful for the seniors,” explained volunteer walk co-coordinator Ann Knight.
For those keeping track, four times around the halls is one kilometre; however, the walk, set to lively music played throughout the hallways and cafeteria, is not meant to be a race.
“It’s not a marathon walk,” explained Knight. “Some of the seniors do one or two laps, some have canes. Everyone is welcome to just come and have a coffee. It’s a non-threatening, fun event.”
The mothers, now deceased, of Knight and co-coordinator Sheila Creasor both had Alzheimer’s, so it is a cause close to their hearts, said Knight.
Over 75 people attended the walk, from 18-month-old babies to seniors and everyone in-between.
“Everybody has a story,” said Knight. “Every family is affected by Alzheimer’s, whether it’s a grandma or a grandpa.”
The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is a fatal, progressive and degenerative disease that destroys brain cells. Symptoms include difficulty remembering things, making decisions and performing everyday activities, affecting the ability of those afflicted to communicate and make sense of the world around them.
The Walk for Memories is the Alzheimer’s Society’s largest fundraising event in Ontario, held to increase awareness and raise funds for vital programs and services that support people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. The money raised in Muskoka stays in the area providing resources, workshops, crisis counselling and support to caregivers and their loved ones living with the disease.
For more information, the Alzheimer’s Society of Muskoka is located at 230 Manitoba St., Bracebridge, 705-645-5621.