MUSCATINE, Iowa–When people think about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, they usually envision a large, colorful ceremony. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made hosting gatherings difficult. This year, to respond to this challenge, keep participants safe, and still raise money to fund the Alzheimer’s Association’s research and outreach programs, Muscatine’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place all across the county. “The fight against Alzheimer’s is more than a one time event, it is a movement,” explained local walk organizer Megan Francis. “We encourage everyone to walk with their family, in their neighborhood the morning of Aug. 15, wear purple, and show your support and participation in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and access a few of the other elements offered.”
As in the past, anyone interested in supporting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s can register online to raise funds. Each fundraiser can then find their own way to raise funds, whether it’s simply requesting donations from friends and family or getting creative. Sunnybrook of Muscatine’s team created the flushed fundraiser, in which people can pay to have a bright purple toilet moved in front of the home or business of their choice. One woman pledged to let her grandchildren break an egg on her head for each $25 she raises. For more intriguing ideas, Francis encourages walkers to visit the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s Facebook group.
This year, organizers of the Muscatine walk hope to raise $23,000 by December, and have already brought in 61% of that goal. “With a year of unknown and unprecedented times, our walkers have truly shown their dedication to the ALZ Association through fundraising,” shared Francis. All the money raised at Muscatine’s walk will go towards the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 help line, local classes and support groups, and reach focused on treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Though each walker will participate individually wherever they are, the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s will still have a few socially distanced events going on Aug. 15 to unite walkers. These will include live streamed opening ceremonies at 9 a.m., viewable on the Muscatine walk website and a drive by view-only Promise Garden at the Red Brick Building (Pearl City Station) from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
However you can assist this year’s Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Francis and all the organizers welcome your support. “This year has been so hard for everyone, and really we can all use some support and encouragement,” said Francis. Though Muscatine cannot show its support in a traditional way this year, seeing groups walking in purple will still raise the spirits of those fighting the disease and the money raised will still benefit local programming and the worldwide search for a cure.