From Beale Street to Bristol Motor Speedway: Saturday, July 30 – Tuesday, August 2
A new event to benefit Tennesseans touched by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is lining up this weekend and looking for supporters. The inaugural Alzheimer’s Tennessee 500 begins this Saturday, July 30 just off Beale Street in Memphis and will travel the length of the state, with a final lap on Tuesday, August 2 inside the legendary Bristol Motor Speedway.
This first-time “race” is comprised of 10 “Pit Stop” events at Walmart stores, spanning the 500-mile stretch across the state. A purple “pace car” with volunteers and supporters will make stops with souvenir t-shirts at Walmart stores in Jackson, Dickson, Murfreesboro, Cookeville, Chattanooga, Alcoa, Knoxville, Morristown and Greenville.
Volunteers, including store associates, will host public celebrations during the stops which will also feature information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias and opportunities for the public to sign up to be Alzheimer’s Tennessee advocates.
Every mile of the Alzheimer’s Tennessee 500 will help Alzheimer’s Tennessee expand its services across the state and provide more education for family and professional caregivers, enhanced support services, brain-healthy initiatives and funding for advocacy and research. Alzheimer’s Tennessee, a Tennessee-based 501c3 not-for-profit organization, has been serving individuals and their families since 1983, though the need for services and education is growing.
“There is no time to lose in the Race to Finish Alzheimer’s, because Tennessee families living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias need help now more than ever,” Janice Wade-Whitehead, Alzheimer’s Tennessee Executive Director, said. “We appreciate Walmart associates and customers for raising funds and awareness for the work of Alzheimer’s Tennessee. Our hope is to make Alzheimer’s a memory, and in the meantime, we want to expand our reach and support those through their journeys with this challenging brain disease.”
Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer. And for every individual living with the disease, an average of four family members, friends and neighbors serve as caregivers who need support, and guidance. More than 110,000 Tennesseeans are living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias today.
The inaugural Alzheimer’s Tennessee 500 will begin in western Tennessee with the second annual statewide Purple Out Day on Friday, July 29, an event Walmart associates supported last year and led by the Clerks of Court and Registers of Deeds in each county. Everyone in the state is encouraged to wear purple.
The “Pit Stops” from Saturday, July 30 thru Tuesday, August 2 will be public celebrations featuring food, door prizes, music, check presentations, and possibly symbolic walks. Local elected leaders will also share their support for the cause.