More than 650 people, including representatives from 90 corporate and community teams, participated in the 2022 Lancaster Walk to End Alzheimer's at Overlook Park on Saturday.
The annual walk, one of hundreds across the U.S., raises money for the Alzheimer's Assocation. There were two courses available Saturday, 1 mile or 2.5 miles. Proceeds go toward medical research, education and support of those with Alzheimer's and other dementias.
As of Monday, donations to the Lancaster walk stood at $155,912, with an overall goal of $280,000. Donations for 2022 will be accepted until the end of the year.
On Saturday morning, participants gathered in the park's parking lot, listening to live music and visiting information tables set up by local organizations, including health service providers, the Lancaster County Office of Aging, United Way of Lancaster County and others.
Every participant was able to choose a flower in the “Promise Garden” that best represented their relationship to the disease:
- Purple: for those who have lost someone to dementia
- Blue: for someone living with Alzheimer's or another dementia
- Yellow: for someone who is supporting or caring for a person living with Alzheimer's
- Orange: For someone who supports the cause of a world without dementia.
The opening ceremony highlighted four individuals, one representing each category: Lee Horn (orange) of Edward Jones, whose company has collectively donated millions of dollars to the association; Andrea Roberts (purple) whose mother and grandmother passed away from the disease; Kelly Seiler (yellow) who is a caretaker for her mother living with Alzheimer’s; and Noi Mimidis (blue) who is battling Alzheimer’s herself.
“This event is vital to the work of the Association and your volunteerism is so important to each and every walker that joins us today and in the future. said Frances Gibbons, senior director of Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Pennsylvania and the walk's coordinator.
“The awareness that we raise through this event will turn into direct services to families affected by the disease all across the entire country, provide research dollars, and assist our advocates in raising their voices for Alzheimer’s care and support.”
(Editor's Note: Kelly Seiler and Madeline Seiler, author of this article, are mother and daughter.)
(Photos: Madeline Seiler | One United Lancaster)