More than two dozen Iowa communities are hosting what are called Memory Walks over the next few weeks, starting this weekend, to raise money and awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. Margie Meehan, spokeswoman for the Dubuque chapter of the Alzheimer’s Assocation, says the local goal is to raise $115,000 to help individuals and families who’ve been impacted by the memory-robbing disease.
Money raised goes to education programs, support groups, respite funds and medic alert safe return programs. Part of the money also goes to the national office in Chicago, which funds research programs. The walks are all held on Saturdays and most are about four miles in length. Meehan says about 120 teams — or around 800 people — are signed up for the Dubuque walk, scheduled for September 18th.
“A lot of the people that are forming teams do have a family member that has Alzheimer’s,” Meehan says. “They maybe work in a nursing home of which they may care for people that have Alzheimer’s. Some are caregivers that start the team. Some are businesses that are sponsors of ours.”
The first walks are this weekend in Creston and Muscatine. Meehan says it’s easy for Iowans to find when and where the nearest walk will be underway as there are 26 walks statewide between now and mid-October. She says to visit the website “www.alz.org” and click on Memory Walk, click on Iowa and then scroll down to the area closest to you. You can also call 800 272-3900.
Walks are planned over the next few weeks in: Ames, Atlantic, Bellevue, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Clinton, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Creston, Denison, Des Moines, Dubuque, Estherville, Fort Dodge, George, Harlan, Lamoni, Le Mars, Marshalltown, Mason City, Montezuma, Muscatine, Ottumwa, Sioux City, Waterloo and West Union.