More than 430 residents participated in this year’s 7th annual Humboldt County Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 8th. Opening ceremonies were held in the Adorni Center and then participants walked around Halverson Park and through Old Town, raising more than $102,000. Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
According to Walk Co-Chair Bonnie Neely, “We are grateful to our returning teams, our new teams, and all the local businesses that support the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association.” Kelly Sanders, Walk Co-Chair, added, “Countless families will benefit from the dollars and awareness raised. The money will provide care and support for those with Alzheimer’s’ and other dementias as well as fund research projects that will one day eradicate this disease.”
Visiting Angels Eureka returned as the top fundraising team, raising $13,030.61. Jeanne O’Neale, team captain and Visiting Angels Eureka CEO, said that their reason for participating is to help put an end to this disease. “Alzheimer’s is a disease that people live with 24 hours a day so the fundraising needs to happen 24 hours a day.”
Rounding out the top ten fundraising teams to date include #2 Edythe McKee Neely Family, Team Captains: Kelly Sanders & Bonnie Neely, $8,150.00 ; #3 Edward Jones United Humboldt, Team Captain: Laura Middlemiss, $6,557.00; #4 Amos Ranch Ramblers, Team Captain: Malinda Damme, $4,771,28; #5 Team Smith21, Team Captain: Doralee Smith, $3,421.00; #6 In Memory of Dorothy Pegolotti, Team Captain: Linda Pieratt, $2,050.00; #7 Remembering For Alz, Team Captain: Joanne Conzelmann, $1,931.00; #8 Forget me nots, Team Captain: Anne Cabal, $1,702.25; #9 Smith Strollers, Team Captain: Sandra Brekke, $1,670.00; #10 Humboldt Senior Resource Center ALZ Steppers, Team Captain: Tim Harkins, $1,611,00.
Lynn McKenna, Visiting Angels team member, returned as the top individual fundraiser this year, raising $7,749.73. McKenna said, “the reason that the Walk has been so successful this year is directly related to the generosity of the businesses in the community and the thousands of individuals that have sponsored all of our teams.”
Rounding out the top ten fundraising individuals to date include: #2 Kelly Sanders, Edythe McKee Neely Family, $4,250.00; #3 Bonnie Neely, Edythe McKee Neely Family, $2,500.00; #4 Jeanne O’Neale, Visiting Angels Eureka, $2,327.29 #5 Malinda Damme, Amos Ranch Ramblers, $2,200.00; #6 Joanne Conzelmann, Remembering For ALZ, $1,931.00; #7 Jo Mulderig, Individual, $1,590.00; #8 Sara Moore, Edward Jones Humboldt County, $1,180.00; #9 Kim Coelho, Walking For A Cure, $1,120.00; #10 Doralee Smith, Team Smith21, $1,115.00.
Donations continue to be accepted for the 2022 Walk until December 31. If you would like to donate, you can go to the website act.alz.org/humboldt or mail a check to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 2542, McKinleyville, CA 95519.
Kim Coelho, Community Engagement Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association, is grateful to everyone who participated this year. “It was so wonderful to be back in person again at the Adorni Center. The families that are affected by this disease really appreciate the fact that so many in our community care about this disease.”
The #1 2021 Visiting Angels fundraising team in the nation, Visiting Angels Eureka, is currently in 3rd place nationwide for most money raised by a Visiting Angels team. Lynn McKenna, the #1 2021 Individual fundraiser in the nation among Visiting Angels participants, is currently the top Visiting Angels Individual fundraiser in the nation. The top 10 teams will have their Walk teams credited with incentives starting from $35,000 for first place to $10,000 for tenth place from the Visiting Angels CEO. The top Individual fundraiser will have their team credited $5,000. If you would like to help the Visiting Angels Eureka finish in one of the top ten spots, you can donate to their team or to Lynn at: act.alz.org/goto/Visiting_Angels_Eureka Winners will be determined by Top Teams reflected on the alz.org/visiting angels site at 12:00 am PST on 12/1/22.
Participants who raised $2,500 or more were recognized as Elite Grand Champion Club Members and include Lynn McKenna, Bonnie Neely, and Kelly Sanders.
Participants who raised $1,000 or more were recognized as Grand Champion Club Members and include: Joanne Conzelmann, Malinda Damme, Eleanor Burger, Lori Cantu, Kim Coelho, Judy Currier, Brandon Kakitsuka, Judy Little, Laura Middlemiss, Sara Moore, Jo Mulderig, Jeanne O’Neil, Doralee Smith, and Hec Wood.
Participants who raised $500 or more were recognized as Champion Club Members and include: Joann Brekke, Sandra Brekke, Sheryl Brekke, Marty Coelho, Ellen Durfee, Mark Goldhawk, Janice Hand, Ali Lee, Kim Mathieson, Yarrow Mitchell, Devin Peal, Linda Pieratt, Judy Pieratt, Mary Pieratt, Shawna Owsley, and Judith Stoffer.
Sixteen Promise Gardens were “planted” with Walk to End Alzheimer’s branded spin wheel flowers in locations throughout Humboldt County. John Schmidt, logistics chair, worked with city councils, businesses and post offices across Humboldt County to find locations to display the Promise Gardens. These gardens honored past and present caregivers, supporters and those living with the disease. Gardens were “planted” in Hydesville, Scotia, Rio Dell, Ferndale, Fieldbrook, Fortuna, Loleta, Eureka, Arcata, Blue Lake, McKinleyville and Trinidad.
The Promise Flower holders this year included: John Kennedy O’Connor, the Orange flower holder, who walked to support the cause and the Association’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia; Chris Smith, the Blue flower holder, who has Alzheimer’s disease; Doralee Smith, the Yellow flower holder, who provides care, love and support to her husband, Chris: Ellen Durfee, the Purple flower holder, who lost her husband Bob to Alzheimer’s in 2021; and Magnolia Mitchell, the White flower holder, who represent the first survivors.
Sponsors for this year’s event include:
NATIONAL PRESENTING Sponsors Edward Jones and CVS Health
PRESENTING Sponsors Blue Lake Casino & Hotel and Providence Humboldt County
PLATINUM Sponsors Morgan Stanley, Pierson Building Center & Sequoia Springs Senior Living
EXCLUSIVE PROMISE GARDEN Sponsor - Katy’s Smokehouse
MEDIA Partners College of the Redwoods Foundation, Eureka Broadcasting, Redheaded Blackbelt & Redwood News
GOLD Sponsors Coast Central Credit Union & Visiting Angels
SILVER Sponsors Aqua Dam, Bear River Casino Resort, In Memory of Herb & Edythe Neely, Maffia Family Fund, North Coast Neuropsychology, Pacific Watershed Associates, Redwood Capital Bank, RE/MAX Humboldt Realty & Times Printing Company.
BRONZE Sponsor Elks Lodge #652
TRIBUTE SIGN Sponsors Bob’s Fine Cars, Gnome Craft Boutique, and North Coast Rentals
HOPE Sponsor Los Bagels and Northern California Community Blood Bank
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 3,700 people in Humboldt and Del Norte counties suffer from the fatal disease. More than 600,000 Californians 65+ are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. This number is expected to double to 1.5 million by 2040. Additionally, more than 1.6 million Californians provide care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Families that are battling this disease can contact the Humboldt Senior Resource Center Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Redwood Caregiver Resource Center, Area 1 Agency on Aging, Adult Day Health Care of Mad River, and the Alzheimer’s Association for support.
The Alzheimer’s Association provides a free nationwide 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) that receives more than 310,000 calls annually and is staffed by specialists and master’s-level clinicians who provide support, offer information and suggest referrals. According to Coelho, many of these calls come in around 2 am, when family members feel the most alone and discouraged. “They are so relived to find out that others are going through similar situations and that there is help available.”
If you would like more information, contact the local Alzheimer’s Association office at (707) 832-4577 x1240 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org