The Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Sedalia is still a few months away, but the committee is already starting to get people involved and excited about the event.
The Sedalia Walk Committee will be hosting its first Purple Pep Rally on Thursday, where people can register themselves or a team, win door prizes, enjoy refreshments, and meet other team captains or walkers they may not have the chance to meet at the walk.
“Captains don’t get the chance to talk to each other at the walk, so this is a chance to talk with other teams, get ideas for fundraising,” said committee member Linda Fisher. “We’re going to have door prizes, refreshments, and we’ll have information about Alzheimer’s and the walk. It’s designed to be a fun evening and a fun way to kick off the walk.
“It’s a good time to learn about the walk, some of the benefits of knowing about the Alzheimer’s Association and contacting them. Families that don’t contact the association, they lose out on a chance to have that support that they don’t have otherwise. I think anybody that has any kind of interest in Alzheimer’s, I think it’s a good chance to meet other people walking, other people that have dealt with Alzheimer’s. Anyone who has gone through it is more than willing to help someone else all that they can.”
So far eight teams have already signed up online, and Fisher said they have raised 34 percent of their $34,000 goal, which is much higher than last year’s goal of $25,000, which was met. The walk in Sedalia has come a long way since it was started in the late ’90s, and Fisher and her husband, Jim, were part of that first event.
“The first walk we were in there was the two of us, a couple from Slater and two people from the association,” she said. “That was it. Six people and a dog. That was the first walk I was involved in in Sedalia. I then coordinated the walk for five years, and someone else does it now but I’ve always stayed involved.”
Fisher has stayed more than involved. She’s a Sedalia Walk Committee member, a team captain, on the Board of Directors for the Greater Missouri Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and the ambassador to Rep. Vicky Hartzler. Her involvement with the organization began because Jim died of early onset dementia.
“The people with the association were the ones that really helped me through it. That’s why I’ve been volunteering for them ever since,” Fisher said. “I went to classes where they taught me things to do, how to be a better caregiver. They became my friends and my lifeline. I don’t feel like I can do enough to pay that forward.”
The Purple Pep Rally will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the South Campus Celebration Room at First United Methodist Church, 1701 W. 32nd St. The Sedalia Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be Saturday, Sept. 6 on the Missouri State Fairgrounds Highway Gardens. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m. For more information, to register or to donate, visit alz.org/greatermissouri and search for the Sedalia walk.