Community gathers for ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’

Ashley McGrath
SUPPORTERS FOR THE Walk to End Alzheimer’s walked at the Oceanfront last weekend to show up to help bring an end to Alzheimer’s disease. “Saturday was a beautiful day filled with enthusiastic participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight on the boardwalk,” Alzheimer’s Association Development Manager Jennifer Chavez said.

The annual ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’ disease brought out hundreds of community sponsors and affected families who gathered to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association.

The ultimate goal of the organization is to fight, or find a cure, for the world’s first Alzheimer’s survivor. The event was held last weekend at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. 

The day consisted of an opening ceremony, beginning with 13News Now Meteorologist Tim Pandajis as the emcee, followed by a three mile walk from the 24th Street King Neptune statue, down to 1st Street and back.

Participants also had the opportunity to place flowers in the Promise Garden to show their connection to the disease and willingness to participate in events that look for a cure. 

The event’s Volunteer Chair Sharon Babbs worked tirelessly to make sure the walk went on without a hitch.

“The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is near and dear to my heart. Although my mom, who I walk in memory of, is no longer with us, there are so many other moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunties, uncles and friends who still suffer with this disease. I am hopeful that one day we will have someone to carry  the white flower as a survivor. Saturday’s Walk was amazing, moving and emotional,” Babbs said.

The walk was successful, raising a grand total of $165,969. Donation teams such as Precious Moments led the way with their donation sum of $10,978. Individuals also raised money such as Gino Colombara, who raised over $1,500 and helped organize many fundraisers leading up to Saturday’s walk.

“It’s amazing to see the number of individuals that have shown up to donate to such a worthy cause. There are so many people that affected by Alzheimer’s and the money we have raised will go so far in our fight for a cure,”  Colombara said.