Kennewick’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s goes partially virtual, will take place on Oct. 11
KENNEWICK, Wash. — As the pandemic forces many events to get cancelled or go virtual in 2020, the Alzheimer’s Association is one of the nonprofits getting creative with its yearly fundraiser.
The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the association’s main fundraiser. It usually brings together thousands of people for events that take place in multiple cities across the country. Before COVID-19 hit, this year’s walk in Kennewick had been scheduled for Sunday, October 11.
“We didn’t want to put anybody at risk especially given the demographic we serve,” said Erica Grissmerson, manager of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the Alzheimer’s Association, Washington State Chapter. “Right from the beginning we knew we were going to have to transition, but we also didn’t want to just go virtual.”
Grissmerson said they decided to have some parts of the event go online – like the opening ceremonies. But they are encouraging people to still physically get out and walk on October 11 with their own families or small groups.
“That’s probably one of the most powerful things I’m expecting this year,” said Grissmerson. “I’m going to be in my neighborhood walking along my streets and then down the street I’m going to see somebody in their purple, with their flag, and I feel like it’s going to hit you – we’re all in this together.”
The Oct. 11 walk will kick off with a virtual opening ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Neighborhood walks will start at 2 p.m. From 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., a promise garden will be available for drive-thru viewing at a location to be determined. The garden is made up of artificial flowers, and each color represents participants’ connection to Alzheimer’s disease.
A virtual pep rally will also take place on September 10 at noon.
Participants can also download the Walk to End Alzheimer’s app to track their steps and receive messages of support along their route.
“I’m really excited,” said Grissmerson. “I’ve already started to see signs in the yards, flags going up, and it just kind of brings that togetherness throughout the year instead of just on a one day event.”
Grissmerson said so far they’ve raised about 40 percent of this year’s goal – $160,000.
“Our participants are down; we definitely need to get people encouraged and excited about the walk,” she said. “We’re still doing it; we still need you.”
To register a team or access any of the virtual events, click here.
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