Downtown Delaware will be the site of this year’s Delaware Walk to End Alzheimer’s as walkers gather in person united in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
Participants from Delaware, Marysville, Sunbury, Galena, Richwood, and Plain City are expected to gather in front of the Strand Theatre to kick off this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 2. Participants can also walk in their neighborhoods.
The Delaware Walk raises money for research and allows the Alzheimer’s Association Central Ohio Chapter to provide free care and support services to local families. This year’s Walk Chair is Dusty Hostutler, a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Hostutler said, “We need people involved with the walk for many reasons, but two that I would highlight. First, it takes a lot of people to plan, organize, and put on a successful walk. Secondly, and most importantly, the more people we have involved, the more money we have the potential to raise, the more money that goes towards research and finding a cure for this terrible disease.”
This year’s goal is to raise $75,000. The Delaware Walk to End Alzheimer’s elite sponsor is Delaware Fraternal Order of Eagles 376. The premier sponsors are Northwest Title and OhioHealth.
Vince McGrail, executive director of the Central Ohio Chapter, said the chapter decided to move forward with plans to host the 2021 Walk to End Alzheimer’s because meeting in person provides an exceptionally moving experience that can be accomplished with COVID restrictions. “The health and safety of participants, staff, and volunteers remain the chapter’s top priority,” he said.
If individuals choose to walk from home, they can still engage in many walk-day experiences through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app. Participants are encouraged to register in advance for the walk at alz.org/walk. At the walk, participants will find a layout that allows for physical distancing, hand sanitizer stations, contactless registration and more, McGrail said. Per CDC guidelines around crowded outdoor settings, the Association asks that all walk attendees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or wear a mask when in an overcrowded area. Masks will be available on-site.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive, fatal brain disease that kills nerve cells and tissues in the brain, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think, plan, speak, walk. Alzheimer’s is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. But according to the National Institute on Aging, recent estimates indicate Alzheimer’s disease may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people. In the state of Ohio, there are 220,000 individuals 65 years of age and older living with Alzheimer’s disease and 442,000 caregivers.
“This year has been extremely stressful for all and that’s why our efforts to raise money for care and support for local families are so critical,” McGrail said. “This Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be extra special because we now have a treatment for Alzheimer’s and we can come together to help each other.”
The Strand Theater is located at 28 E. Winter St. in downtown Delaware. A ceremony kicking off the Delaware Walk to End Alzheimer’s will begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 2.
Submitted by the Central Ohio Alzheimer’s Association.