Annual Alzheimer’s walk set for Saturday

Published 8:00 pm Monday, October 2, 2017

With each step, participants in Saturday’s 13th-annual Alzheimer’s Walk and Education Fair will raise money for a disease that affects thousands of aging Americans.

The walk is an effort to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research, but also raise awareness for the disease.

“It’s not so much as people there for a good time, as much as it is people getting what they need. I want people to get information that will help them,” said Emily Albera, an organizer of the event.

Saturday’s event at First Baptist Church is a three-fold plan— the walk, free materials and the funds. It’s a 2-mile walk leaving from the church, but inside will be filled with booths and tables equipped with materials that any Alzheimer’s caregiver would need, according to Albera.

There will be a lot of exposure to local support at the event. East Carolina University health professionals will be present, along with hospital, nursing home and home-health care staff. There will be flu shots available on site, along with free health screenings from Vidant, Albera said.

Albera said she got involved with the walk after her mother died of Alzheimer’s disease years ago. She said she hopes Saturday’s Walk and Education Fair will give resident caregivers the necessary resources and information about Alzheimer’s, so they don’t have to struggle to educate themselves like Albera once did.

“When mother first got it, it was 30 years ago. People didn’t know what a support group really was. I went, there were two of us there, and we were just comparing notes,” Albera said.

Through donations and local sponsorships, the Washington walk will raise money for Alzheimer’s NC, an organization that provides education, support and services to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, while also working to raise awareness for the disease and other dementias.

Albera said last year, organizers also donated $5,000 of the proceeds to the Wooten Laboratory for Alzheimer’s Research at East Carolina University, and this year, she plans to do the same.

There will be a silent auction at the event, and WITN’s Dave Jordan will emcee. The event begins at 9 a.m., and the walk will start at 10:30 a.m. At noon, the silent auction winners will be revealed, and pizza will be served.

First Baptist Church is located at 113 N. Harvey St. in Washington.