GREENVILLE — An estimated $25,000 was made and at least 200 people showed up to participate in this year’s Greenville Walk to End Alzheimer’s held in Greenville City Park on Saturday.
They didn’t let a little drizzle spoil their mission… to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
“Last year, it rained and was cold, unfortunately,” said Katie Mauch, walk director.
Attendance in 2015, she said, was down but went on as planned.
Several said this was probably the biggest and best year yet.
In the opening ceremony Mauch explained the color of the flowers the walkers would be carrying and representing. Those with the orange ones mean they support the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer’s; purple, means they have lost someone to Alzheimer’s; blue, means they have Alzheimer’s; and yellow means they are supporting or caring for someone with the disease.
“This started out as a Memory Walk,” Mauch said. “We acknowledge the different colors.”
Those with the orange flowers were led by Tina McClanahan; purple, Kathy and Ron Galantine; yellow, Elizabeth Booher; and blue, Lawson Nickol.
She stated there are more than 1,000 residents who have Alzheimer’s in Darke County. Of those 1,000 people, there will be no survivors.
“Caregivers are appreciated,” she said.
Cheryl Collins, a special speaker, told of her father’s experience with Alzheimer’s.
“The walk today is literally a step in ending this disease,” she said. “Because of you, I have hope.”
Dorthy Lentz ended up having most pledges for the day and earned the title of Champion, and the Lentz-Flatter Team was also recognized as Champions for their pledges of $5265, $1,830 which came from their recent wine-tasting event.
“My husband, Ed, suffers from this horrible illness,” Lentz said. “He is at Rest Haven.”
She said she has participated in the event several years.
“I want to do anything I can for the research,” she said. “The money we gather…78 percent goes for research.”
She said it was her family, the Lentzes and Flatters, who provided the stand-ups for the flower colors on display at the walk. Her great-nephew, Jasper Gains, is pictured on all four stand-ups.
“I was born in Massachusetts, but I live in College Corner,” Jasper said.
Family members — daughter Becky Downing and sons Bob and Mike Flatter — work at Lewis Container where the stand-ups were made.
“The Lewis-Flatter team recently hosted a wine-tasting fundraiser to benefit the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at A.R. Winery, 3564 Gordon-Landis Road, Arcanum. The evening included wine tastings with complimentary food samples, a silent auction, and live music.
“It was so much fun,” said Lentz. “It was marvelous.”
“I’ve known Dorthy and Ed Lentz, who have been friends of ours,” said Richard Baker, who recently moved to the Greenville area from the Hollansburg area. “My wife passed away and we’re still friends. I got involved in the walk last year.”
Ken Pence said this was his third year to walk. His wife, Joan, died in 2011 of Alzheimer’s.
Mike and Betsy Nisonger were there to go on the walk and support the association.
“Mike’s mom and dad passed away of it,” said Betsy, who noted there were 15 on that family’s team.
Evelyn Sharp said she was there in memory of her “lovable mother-in-law, Opal Sharp.”
“I thought it would be a good idea. She was always there for me and I loved her,” said Sharp, who participated in the event for the first time.
Stacy Grisez and Christina Louk were there representing Versailles Health Care Center, where they heard about the event. Both walked; Grisez, in memory of her grandmother.
“My dad, Robert Mertz, had Alzheimer’s,” remarked Irene Rismiller of Rossburg, who was there with her Ansonia Animal 4-H Club, helping to set up and tear down displays and such.
“We do this as a community project,” Rismiller said.
Irene Stone of Fort Recovery has been walking in memory of husband, Larry, who died of Alzheimer’s nine years ago.
“I didn’t start the first year, so I’ve been walking eight years,” she said. I have volunteered the last two or three years.”
“My first time was last year for coming here,” said Polly Eley, who attends the event in memory of her father, Richard Walls.
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. One in three seniors will die from Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter provides critical care and support services to nine counties, including Darke County. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are steps families can take to make their journey a little easier. Take advantage of the free programs and services that the Alzheimer’s Association offers, including: Toll free 24/7 Helpline 800-272-3900. Call day or night for emotional support, chapter services, information and referrals, and more.
The website provides essential information about Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
“Alzheimer’s disease is relentless, but so are we,” said a spokesperson. “By advancing advocacy through local grassroots efforts, raising money for research and recruiting trial match participates we can end Alzheimer’s disease. We are creating innovative ways to increase the number of people served on-line, over the phone and in person. We are building partnerships with physicians and medical providers to improve timely and accurate diagnoses so that we are better at connecting more people to chapter and community services sooner in the disease process. We are partnering with individuals, organizations, businesses and foundations that can make a BIG impact through serving on our Board of Trustees, serving as event chairpersons, leading teams, and volunteering in roles to help raise awareness and dollars for our full mission. Be a part of our hope for a world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
Not all people at the event did not walk, but helped by volunteering in registration, working at the various tables and even serving as cheerleaders as the walkers came back.
“We’re still tallying up the final numbers, but should have them by Tuesday or Wednesday,” Mauch said.
This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.