Participants Will Continue to Walk as Individuals, Families or Small Teams on Sidewalks, Tracks and Trails across Knoxville in Wake of COVID-19
The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Knoxville residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® on October 3.
The Knoxville Walk to End Alzheimer’s continues, but instead of hosting a large gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across Knoxville.
“This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be everywhere,” said Wendy Vizek, vice president, constituent events at the Alzheimer’s Association. “The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn’t change the need to walk. This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”
Time-honored components of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s are being replicated. On Walk day, an Opening Ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, all delivered to participants’ smartphones, tablets and computers. A small group of Alzheimer’s Association staff and volunteers will create the iconic Promise Garden in a “view only” format on Walk day at Zoo Knoxville to honor all those impacted by Alzheimer’s. This display will be available to view from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 3.
The Alzheimer’s Association is also working to include long term care facilities and memory care communities in Saturday’s celebration, as residents and staff have faced an incredibly challenging year amid the pandemic. Volunteers have coordinated “Flower Showers” at these facilities — decorating lobbies, entryways and more in purple and “planting” the Association’s signature Promise Garden flowers for residents to enjoy.
“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we,” said Sara Thompson, Manager of the Knoxville Walk to End Alzheimer’s. “We must continue on with our mission and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together. Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.”
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In Tennessee alone, there are more than 120,000 people living with the disease and 439,000 caregivers.
To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit: alz.org/walk.