Source: Alzheimer’s Association
Nearly 300 area residents participated in this year’s Santa Barbara Walk to End Alzheimer’s on November 7.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants walked as individuals and small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across Santa Barbara County on Saturday to ensure the health and safety for all involved in the event.
The Walk has raised over $137,300 to date to fund research and local services throughout the Central Coast including support groups, education, information and referral services, care and support efforts and a 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.
Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative, led by Committee Chair and Board Director, Katina Zaninovich, was the top fundraising team at this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, raising over $47,500.
The Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative Committee uses its resources and visibility to educate, honor, expand and volunteer throughout the Central Coast. The Committee has previously involved the community in its mission to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Association through annual luncheons that feature research presentations and keynote speakers, such as Maria Shriver. When the rise of COVID-19 derailed plans to host a luncheon this fall, the committee of 18 women reconvened, ultimately deciding to remain committed to their mission in a different way by participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
On Walk day, walkers viewed a virtual Opening Ceremony hosted by Andrew Firestone. Many came to the Old Mission Santa Barbara to view the Promise Flower Garden, where colorful flowers represented the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Participants walked downtown, along the beach, and in neighborhoods throughout the county in Santa Barbara, San Roque, Goleta and Montecito.
“Even though the pandemic transformed how we walked this year, the community came out in full force with great participation on our local streets and communities,” said Development Manager Sonya Branco.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create substantial challenges for people living with dementia, their families and caregivers. Donations are needed now more than ever to meet the increasing demand for car and support services offered by the Alzheimer’s Association to local Central Coast communities.
“This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia, said Lindsey Leonard, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast chapter. “With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In California alone, there are more than 690,000 people living with the disease and 1,624,000 caregivers.
Donations can still be made to the Santa Barbara Walk to End Alzheimer’s through Dec. 31 at act.alz.org/santabarbara.