Thursday, September 16 2021

This photo, courtesy of Dana Corwin, is of her late mother, Yvonne “Vonnie” Jerman.

The Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is planning the annual Chautauqua County Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease to be held at Point Gratiot Park in Dunkirk this month.

All in-person events will implement safety protocols including physical distancing, contactless check-in, hand sanitizing stations and more. Masks are welcome and will be available on site. Organizers will continue to closely monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local guidelines to ensure that walking events meet recommendations and are safe for participants. For those who prefer to participate by walking from home, around their neighbors or on a favorite trail, there are still plenty of walking experiences that they can participate in through the website and mobile app. Information about the app is available in the Walk Participation Center when participants register at alz.org/WNYwalk.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease is essential to the chapter’s efforts to provide care and support to all those affected by dementia in Chautauqua County, as well as Allegany, Cattaraugus counties , Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming. The money raised by the participants in the walk ensures that the section can continue to provide free education programs, support groups, respite training services, a 24/7 helpline, research and more.

Among those who will take part in the Dunkirk Walk on Saturday 25 September is Dana Corwin. The Mayville resident heads the Chautauqua County office for the Aging Walk team in memory of his mother, Yvonne “Vonnie” Jerman, who died in 2017.

“I think I have been a fundraising champion ($ 500 and up) for many years now because it is a legacy in his memory”, said Corwin. “Mom would be very proud of my daughters, who are pursuing careers in medical services because of the love and care we have shown her while living with Alzheimer’s disease.”

A key part of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease is the Garden of Promise ceremony, a mission-driven experience that symbolizes the fight against Alzheimer’s disease with colorful pinwheel-shaped flowers. The flowers are available in four colors, which represent a link to the disease: blue is for people with dementia, yellow signifies a caring partner, purple honors those lost to illness, and orange illustrates support for our fight to end Alzheimer’s disease. Dana says she was especially moved when her mother joined her for walks in the early years and wore a blue flower to symbolize her battle with dementia.

There is no charge to attend, but since this event is the primary means of supporting the non-profit Alzheimer’s association, fundraising is strongly encouraged and incentives are offered to achieve specific goals, including the purple Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease 2021 t-shirt. Free registration is available at alz.org/WNY. Once registered, participants have access to the online Participant Center where they can share their efforts and progress on social media, create personal fundraising emails, share photos or videos of why they are. walk and more.

For more information and to inquire about corporate sponsorship, call Lynn Westcott during traditional office hours at 440-4251 or email [email protected]

Walks are also scheduled in Buffalo on September 18, in Batavia on September 25, in Lewiston and Allegany on October 2, and October 9 in Medina.

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