Area residents will have an opportunity this weekend to walk side by side with other community members in hopes of raising money for a good cause. 

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held Saturday at Windber Recreation Park. Event organizers say the goal of the annual event is to not only raise funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, but also to raise awareness of the disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the country.

“Raising money to find a cure for Alzheimer’s is what makes this event so special,” said Vivian Hogue, Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee member. “The money we raise goes toward research and education.” 

This year’s fundraising goal is $75,000, and nearly $33,000 has already been raised.

Previous fundraising events which include a basket party, community yard and bake sale, and a kick-off event held at B&L Wine Cellars, have helped to generate funds for the cause throughout the summer.

“We made thousands of dollars at the yard sale, and we made a couple hundred dollars at our B&L Wine Cellar event,” Hogue said. “People have also done spaghetti dinners, bake sales, candy bars, because everybody wants to help but not everyone can afford to, so we appreciate it all.” 

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is scheduled to begin at

9:30 a.m. Saturday. Day-of registration will take place prior to the event at 8 a.m. 

Participants are encouraged to register in advance online at www.alz.org/walk, click “Find Your Walk” and select the Cambria/Somerset walk.

Last year, the walk attracted about 600 people, and event organizers are hoping to surpass that number this year.

A basket raffle will be held during the event, a disc jockey will be on-hand to provide music, and free food and drinks will be available.

Prior to the walk, participants will receive a Promise Garden flower. Through color, the Promise flowers represent the walkers’ connection to the disease. Blue represents someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia; purple is for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease; yellow represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s; and orange is for everyone who supports the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

A white Promise Garden flower was recently added, Hogue said. White represents hope for the first Alzheimer’s survivor. 

Hogue said “Some day there will be a cure, and we’re all walking for the cure.”

Ronald Fisher is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @FisherSince_82.

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