The 12th Annual Walk To End Alzheimer’s at Library Park in Lake Geneva welcomes more than 750 participants on Sept. 15, many carrying pinwheel flowers personalized with how their lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The event is projected to raise $175,000 in Walworth County. (Heather Ruenz photo)

Annual event projected to raise $175,000 in Walworth County

Walworth County showed its support on Sept. 15 as more than 750 participants turned out to support the 12th Annual Walk To End Alzheimer’s at Library Park in Lake Geneva.

The walk, chaired by Josh Spiegelhoff, owner of Spiegelhoff Insurance, Chris Zegarra, Spiegelhoff Insurance, and Emily Karls, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, East Troy Manor is projected to raise $175,000. Fundraising will continue over the next few months as walkers forward additional donations. This year’s event experienced a 17 percent increase in funds raised over 2017.

“When our family first received my dad’s diagnosis, we were left feeling a range of emotions” Spiegelhoff said. “It’s a devastating diagnosis and when you receive it, you are ushered out of the doctor’s office feeling isolated and lost. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is an affirmation that you’re not alone and there are many, many people going through the same emotional process. We are a community and we are here to support each other while we work on finding a cure.”

Dave Grams, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Wisconsin chapter, said events such as the walk help the Association provide support to those affected.

“None of the victories that we’ve achieved as an organization this year, from providing nearly 39,000 points of service in Southeastern Wisconsin, to speaking up for the needs and rights of those facing the disease, could have happened without grassroots support for the mission,” Grams said. “Thanks to local efforts like this, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide education, care and support services to local residents, and fund promising Alzheimer’s research.”

The annual Wally Phillips Spirit Award was presented this year to two former Walk co-chairs – Sonja Akright of Primex Family of Companies, and Wendy Betley, Alzheimer’s Association.

Each year the award is given to honor an individual or group whose efforts best exemplify the spirit of generosity and service above self that is WGN Hall of Fame Broadcaster Wally Phillips legacy.

Betley co-founded the Walworth County walk in 2007, served as co-chair until 2012 and remains on the walk committee.

Akright became co-chair of the Walworth County Walk succeeding Betley in 2013. She served as co-chair for five years while also leading up the walk efforts at Primex Family of Companies.

Donations can still be made to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and should be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association, Southeastern Wisconsin chapter at 620 S. 76th St., Suite 160, Milwaukee, WI 53214. Please designate contributions to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Walworth County Walk. Donations can also be made online through Nov. 30 at alz.org/sewi.

The money raised in Walworth County is used to fund research and services including support groups, information and referral services, care consultations and a 24/7 Helpline (1-800-272-3900.)

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Held annually in hundreds of communities across the country, this event calls on volunteers of all ages to become champions – including people living with the disease, friends, families, neighbors, caregivers and business and community leaders – in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

 

 
 

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