‘We’re searching for the first survivor’: Walk to End Alzheimer’s engages, inspires Iron County residents

Walk to End Alzheimer's, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Alzheimer's Association Utah Chapter, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting residents of Iron County and surrounding areas to unite in a movement to reclaim the future for millions by participating in the 2021 Cedar City Walk to End Alzheimer’s. 

Walk to End Alzheimer’s, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association Utah Chapter, St. George News

The fundraising walk will be held Saturday at the Cedar City Motor Company, located at 1010 N. Main St., and donations will be used to provide care and support services to people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers in the local community. 

“We’re searching for the first survivor of Alzheimer’s,” said Lauren Willie, Southwest Utah regional manager for the Alzheimer’s Association Utah Chapter. “We want a world without Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia.”  

The 2-mile walk is open to all ages and welcomes both strollers and wheelchairs. There’s no fee to register, but every participant is asked to make a personal donation and commit to raising funds in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Participants may register for the walk as individuals, join an established team or volunteer to be a team captain and fundraising leader. 

The Alzheimer’s Association provides easy tools for walkers to share the event and rally donations through email and social media. Donations are also welcomed from those who can’t attend. Fundraising prizes include a staycation at Ruby’s Inn.

Event organizers will implement safety protocols including social distancing, contactless registration, hand sanitizing stations and more. Masks will be available on site. Those who would rather stay in their own neighborhood can still engage in many “walk from home” experiences through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app.

Stock image | Photo by Chinnapong/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Festivities begin at 9 a.m., and the walk will start immediately following the Promise Garden ceremony at 10 a.m. Along with banners offering Alzheimer’s facts and resources, the Promise Garden is dotted with hundreds of colorful nylon flowers, each signifying a personal connection to the disease.

All registered participants will receive a flower to plant in the Promise Garden and should choose the color that best represents their connection to Alzheimer’s. Blue represents someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, while purple is for those who have lost a loved one to the disease. Yellow represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s, and orange is for those who support the cause. 

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, held in more than 600 communities nationwide each year, is the largest event organized to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The Alzheimer’s Association Utah Chapter sponsors two walks in Southern Utah every fall. Despite the event going virtual in 2020, they raised more than $17,000 in Cedar City and over $24,000 in St. George. This year’s St. George walk will be held on Oct. 23. 

Walk to End Alzheimer’s, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association Utah Chapter, St. George News

The Alzheimer’s Association Utah Chapter is the premier source of information and support for more than 34,000 Utahns living with Alzheimer’s or dementia as well as their families and caregivers. The Southern Utah office provides online educational programs and virtual caregiver support groups at no cost to the community. Caregivers and relatives are encouraged to reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline for expert answers and resources.  

“A lot of times, they don’t know where to go or how to ask for help,” Willie said. “We want to make sure they always have someone to turn to, no matter what time of day or night.”  

Nationwide, Alzheimer’s affects more than 5 million people over age 65; chances are that nearly everyone knows someone living with Alzheimer’s or who has lost a loved one to the disease. Lace up your walking shoes and become a champion in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

To register for the Cedar City walk or donate, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

•  S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T  •

Event details

  • What: Cedar City Walk to End Alzheimer’s. 
  • When: Saturday, Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. 
  • Where: Cedar City Motor Company, 1010 N. Main St., Cedar City. 
  • Tickets: Free. 
  • Resources: Website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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