[McLean, VA] September 27, 2022 – Hundreds of community members from Charles County and the surrounding area will unite in a movement to reclaim the future for millions by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Charles County on Saturday, October 1 at the Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.

Returning to lead this year’s event is Walk chair Joel Hill, CEO of Berean Employment Screening Solutions. Hill walks in memory of his mother, Inez Hill, and serves as the captain of Team Purple Rain. “Our team is named for my mother’s favorite color. Although she had Alzheimer’s late in life, she always remembered the names of all seven of her children,” said Hill. “More than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.”

Among the familiar faces returning to this year’s Walk is the Southern Maryland Boot Scooters, led by team captain Leslie Harvey. The team has been participating in the Walk since 2015. It has raised tens of thousands of dollars through its fundraising efforts and its special events, including its annual benefit dance and designer purse bingo. The group has raised almost $34,000 for this year’s Walk, exceeding their goal of $25,000.

“Many of our team members have family or friends impacted by this disease,” said Harvey. “Our goal is to see the white flower held by survivors of this terrible disease.” Harvey knows all too well the devastation Alzheimer’s can have on a family. “I have five family members that have … or have passed with Alzheimer’s,” she continued. “This disease took the life of my grandmother, my Aunt Lucille, my brother Doug and my recently Aunt Alice. My mother is the fifth family member and is still battling this disease. I don’t ever want to look at my kids and not know who they are, so my motto is ‘I will strive … to keep it at Five’.

Also participating in the Walk is Team Her Lil Bit’s. “We lost a very important family member on July 29, 2014,” said team captain Danielle Owens. “My grandmother Karen E. Taylor passed away shortly after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Our family has participated in Walk since that time, and we continue to walk in her memory to honor her as we remember our Granma.”

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. The event features a poignant Promise Garden ceremony — a mission-focused experience that signifies the solidarity of the Walk participants in the fight against the disease. The colors of the Promise Garden flowers represent people’s connection to Alzheimer’s:  

  • Blue: Someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • Purple: An individual who has lost someone to the disease.
  • Yellow: A person currently supporting or caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s.
  • Orange: A participant who supports the cause and the Association’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and other dementia.

While plans are moving forward to host the Walk in-person, the health and safety of participants, staff, and volunteers remain the top priorities. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue closely monitoring CDC, state, and local guidelines to ensure Walk events adhere to the latest recommendations.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s disease, including 110,000 in Maryland. More 242,000 Marylanders are among the 11 million Americans who provide unpaid care to someone with Alzheimer’s. The estimated value of unpaid care nationwide is valued at 271.6 billion dollars.

“There has never been a greater need for the community to join in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease by participating in Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Kate Rooper, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter. “Funds raised through the Walk will provide information, education, and support to people living with Alzheimer’s and their families and caregivers, while also contributing to advancing critically-needed research.”

Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Walk. Participation is free; however, participants are encouraged to raise funds. For more information and to register, visit alz.org/ncawalks or contact Sonya Amartey at 703-766-9025 or samartey@alz.org.


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