Walk for Alzheimer’s kicks off end of May across region

Get your runners laced up and your teams ready. The annual IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, hosted by the Alzheimer Society Huron Perth, takes place across the region on May 25.

The annual walk is vital to the local organization, as Sarah Dunn, fund development assistant with the society, said.

“It is our biggest fundraiser of the year and crucial for us,” Dunn said, “because we only get about 60 per cent of our operating budget through government grants.”

The walk raises funds for the programs and services that the society offers for those living with dementia and their caregivers in Huron and Perth counties.

This year, the fundraising goal is $130,000, higher than the $123,000 raised last year. Dunn said they are optimistic they’ll reach their goal.

“This disease is becoming more and more prevalent,” Dunn said. “Currently 76,000 more Canadians are diagnosed with dementia each year, and with an ageing population that is only expected to increase.”

By the year 2050, the society estimates that more than 1.7 million people will be living with dementia in Canada. Currently, there are 650,000 Canadians living with dementia.

“On May 25, we’re calling on you to make connections matter and show your support by walking or donating towards a walk event in a community near you,” Cathy Ritsema, executive director at the society, said in a media release. “The funds raised at the walk stay in Huron and Perth counties and provide crucial funds for the Alzheimer Society.”

To get involved, register for a local walk as an individual or team, start fundraising, using the hashtag #IGWalkForAlz and join everyone on May 25.

More than 150 communities nationwide host walks each year. The local society is hosting seven walks this year, taking place in:

• Exeter – South Huron District High School

• Clinton – Central Huron Secondary School

• Goderich – Goderich District Collegiate Institute

• Listowel – Between the Lines

• St. Marys – Solis Park

• Stratford – Upper Queen’s Park

• Wingham – Maitland River Community Church

The easiest way to register, Dunn said, is to go to walkforalzheimers.ca ahead of the walk, though registration will be open day-of as well.

Registration will open at 9 a.m. that morning and the walk will start at 10 a.m. sharp.

Connor Luczka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Stratford Times