Alzheimer’s Association plans fundraising walk for awareness

Melissa Rollins, Staff Writer

Members of the Florence community will join forces with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise money and awareness at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 8.

Timrod Park will be the starting location of the Florence walk. From that point, the walk will continue for two miles, with a shorter route available for those who need it. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and walking will begin at 10 a.m.

The association changed the name of the annual walk this year from The Memory Walk to the current name to reflect their vision.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s website, the fundraisers held each year embrace one singular mission.

“To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.”

Lynne Moore is the Director of Development for the Midlands area, which includes Florence. She became involved with the Alzheimer’s Association in January of this year. Moore said that she joined the organization because she knows personally how Alzheimer’s affects an entire family.

“My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s,” Moore said. “So, it really is my passion to not only help raise funds to find a cure but also to help the caregivers and the families.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association website, the association’s first president Jeremy Stone helped launch the organization in 1980. Nine years later it began holding annual walks to raise money to fund research and provide support for those touched by the disease. Since its inception, the association has raised over $347 million nationally.

Literature from the Alzheimer’s Association says that America alone has an estimated 5.4 million people affected by Alzheimer’s. Moore said that the number of people affected has risen in the past few years.

“Currently, there is someone developing Alzheimer’s every 70 seconds,” Moore said. “That means almost everyone knows at least one person affected by the disease.”

There are two ways that walk participants can help raise money for the cause. They can have fund raising events or collect personal contributions from individuals or companies. The Alzheimer’s Association offers several merchandise options, like bracelets and stickers, which can be used for fundraisers. Participants sell items and all of the proceeds go to their team for the walk.

Moore wanted to assure anyone who might be concerned that their money would never be used locally that “70 percent of the funds that are raised in South Carolina stay here.”

She encouraged students to get involved anyway they can.

“Hold a pancake breakfast,” Moore said. “My son plays Frisbee golf, and his team is going to have a tournament with the proceeds going to toward the walk. If sororities and fraternities need community service hours, they can volunteer at the walk. We will sign any papers that we need to.”

Moore said that the walk is a family event. Volunteers will serve coffee in the morning and there will be a cookout after the walk. Throughout the event, there will be music from The Tams. The band, from Georgia, has its own story of being touched by Alzheimer’s; one of their members was diagnosed.

Those interested in joining a team, starting a team, walking or making a donation can call Lynne Moore at 1-800-636-3346 or e-mail