In the time it takes to walk two miles through the Indian Hills Community College campus, the course of Alzheimer’s disease can be changed.
On Sept. 8, teams and individuals will gather on the college campus with one goal in mind — raising funds and awareness of Alzheimer’s affects on the mind and on families. The day will begin with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m., and the walk will begin at 10 a.m.
This is the third year for a Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Ottumwa and its first year at IHCC.
One of the most colorful and memorable parts of the walk event is the Promise Garden. Each participant is given a Forget-me-not flower in a different color. Purple means that you have lost someone with Alzheimer’s, blue means you have the disease, yellow indicates you are a caregiver and orange means you are a supporter or friend.
“It’s amazing — you can watch during the walk and see how many people this disease affects,” program and event coordinator Alicia Pence said.
During the opening ceremonies, one special person with each color of flower will speak about why they’re walking in the event.
Following the two-mile walk, food donated by area sponsors will be served. Teams and those who raised the most during fundraising will also be recognized.
The day will also be full of entertainment, including Barnyard Billy, juggler Scott Baird and a band. There are also some other surprises in the works. Sponsors have donated gift cards to the event, so there will be drawings during day.
“Our goal is really to get the word out and teach people about the Alzheimer’s Association,” Pence said.
Twelve teams have already signed up, and Pence said this year’s goal is 18 teams. Most walk on behalf of loved ones who are living with the disease or have died. Pence says that the team aspect of the walk is really what draws people together.
“We see lots of teams, and many of them come to the walk dressed in a theme,” she said. “It’s always more fun to walk in a group.”
The Alzheimer’s Association will also be holding a tip night at Pizza Ranch the evening of Sept. 13. They will be bussing tables and working for tips, which will all go for research and education.
For your information
For more information about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s or for information about the disease itself, call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24-hour hotline at 800-272-3900.