MUSCATINE, Iowa–The last weekend in September, downtown Muscatine will come alive with different events. For the first time since 2019, the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s will come back to the riverfront in person and join in all the hustle and bustle in person. “It is a real celebration along the riverfront, and we are excited to have our walk as part of the festivities,” said Megan Francis, one of the organizers for the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Each year, the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s works to raise funds to support the Alzheimer’s Association, which supports research for improved treatments and possible cures for Alzheimer’s and other dementias, provides nationwide services such as their 24/7 hotline, and providing localized help through support groups, such as those in Muscatine. This year, the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s aims to raise $22,000. So far, Francis reports that preregistered walkers have already raised 75% of that goal.
In order to participate, walkers must preregister online, and may do so right up to the day of the walk. Then, starting at 4 p.m. Sept. 24, walkers can sign in and receive their walk t-shirt if they raised at least $100. Fundraising for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s will continue online through the end of the calendar year, giving people plenty of opportunities to continue helping the Alzheimer’s Association and to propel friends or family who walked to champion or grand champion status (for those who raised $500 or $1,000, respectively).
Beginning at 5 p.m., walkers will gather outside the Red Brick Building (Pearl City Station), for the walk’s opening ceremonies. These will include walkers planting the promise garden, which highlights their connection to Alzheimer’s and other dementias and celebrates the hope that research will one day discover a cure for these devastating diseases. They will then make the two mile round trip from the Red Brick Building to Musser Park and back.
Though the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place outside, a safer venue for large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers realize that not everyone feels comfortable returning to in person activities just yet. To that end, they have provided a walk from home option. Participants can register online to raise funds, just like in person walkers will. However, at a time they choose after 5 p.m. Sept. 24, they can log into the Walk to End Alzheimer’s app, tour a virtual promise garden, watch a recording of the opening ceremonies, and track the number of steps they take on their own personal walk. For those who would prefer this walk from home format, Francis assures them their contributions will help the cause just as much. “What is important is knowing that you are playing an important part to support those living with or caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s and part of the mission to find the first survivor,” she emphasized.
However you would like to get involved with this year’s Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Francis urges you to do so, as the funds you raise will have a positive impact on Muscatine County and beyond. “Dementia and Alzheimer’s is not a visible disease, so even if you are not personally effected by the disease the chances are a neighbor, co-worker or even friend right here in Muscatine has been effected or will be in the coming years, if we do not continue the fight to find the first survivor,” she stressed.