Volunteers prep for 13th Annual Southern Crescent Walk for end of Alzheimer’s

Volunteers tend to the Promise Garden, consisting of large wind-driven flowers on which participants could write the names of past or present Alzheimer’s sufferers. When the flowers were grouped together and the wind caused the flowers to spin, it was a memorable sight to the walkers crossing the finish line. The flowers will be spinning again this year. Participants take their flowers home to add to their gardens. Photo/Special.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, you can do your part to end Alzheimer’s disease and protect our future generations.

Volunteers will anticipate in the 13th Annual Southern Crescent Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Peachtree City. It begins in the parking lot of the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater on McIntosh Trail. Donations are welcome to support research.

The Walk will include over 1,000 participants from seven counties on Atlanta’s southside: Coweta, Clayton, Fayette, South Fulton, Henry, Meriwether and Spalding. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the Walk starting at 9:30 a.m. Runners are also welcome.

Over $2 million has been raised since 2,000 when Peachtree City co-founder Floy Farr started the event. Sponsored by the Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, this years’ chair is Sue Shaffer. Iola Snow and Fred Brown are honorary chairs.

“This is a very upbeat family event, complete with kids and the family dog,” according to Dan Nelson, public awareness chairman. “The Peachtree Jazz Edition provides music both before and after the 5K (3.2 mile) walk along Peachtree City’s cool and shady cart paths. Free breakfast snacks are available for walkers. Clowns from the Clowns With New Hope offer balloon animals for the kids. Corporate sponsors’ booths provide valuable information.

“Large memory boards await your personal written comments about friends or loved ones. Staff members from World Gym make sure everyone is properly warmed up before departing. A ‘Mini-Walk’ is available for those unable to take the complete walk. And, if you start the Walk, but cannot complete it, a golf cart will return you to the starting area. Water stations will be located along the route,” Nelson said.

New for last year was the Promise Garden. Walk participants were given large wind-driven flowers on which they could write the names of past or present Alzheimer’s sufferers. When the flowers were grouped together and the wind caused the flowers to spin, it was a memorable sight to the walkers crossing the finish line. The flowers will be spinning again this year. Participants take their flowers home to add to their gardens.

After the Walk everyone is encouraged to chow down with a free lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, etc., prepared by the Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City. Persons making donations before the Walk are given a ticket for free drawings following the Walk for valuable prizes donated by area businesses.

“So why do we walk? We walk so future generations will not have to face Alzheimer’s. We walk to share our story of living with Alzheimer’s and join together to raise awareness and funds. We walk to honor and remember those we have lost. We walk because we have the power to make a difference and fight back. Come, walk with us! And don’t forget that donation,” Nelson said.

About 5.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with this Alzheimer’s disease, including over 200,000 in Georgia. In addition, there are the nearly 11 million people who are caregivers for those afflicted.

Alzheimer’s Disease causes healthy brain tissue to deteriorate, leading to memory loss and cognitive impairment. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.

Although there is a common belief that Alzheimer’s attacks only senior citizens, that is not the case. Individuals in their 30s have been diagnosed with the disease.

There is no current cure for Alzheimer’s, but new medications slow its progress and improve the patient’s ability to function. Significant research is ongoing to find the cause and cure.

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate the disease through the advancement of research, provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

For additional information or to make a donation online visit www.southernalzwalk.org. Keep in mind that all funds collected remain in Georgia to help Georgians.