Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the national movement to unite millions in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Beginning in 2015, the Greater Utica Walk will change seasons from fall to spring. The 2015 Greater Utica Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on April 26 at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica.
“Central New York winter’s are long and brutal,” said Georgia Vieira, associate development director for the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter and manager of the Greater Utica event. “People want to get out after the snow melts and the weather warms up. Why not make that first walk of the spring one for a great cause?”
While the 2015 Walk is only seven months after the 2014 version, it sets the stage for the event to take place every spring. The event also changes homes this year to SUNY Polytechnic Institute from New Hartford Senior High School.
“We are happy to call SUNY Poly our new home,” Vieira said. “It’s a beautiful campus, very close to Downtown Utica and just off the expressway and Thruway. Plus, we have the added benefit of self-containing everything on the campus and keeping people off of streets and out of residential areas. It’s the perfect location for a Walk likes ours that is looking for a more permanent home.”
Online registration and paper registration forms are available at www.alz.org/walk or by calling (315) 617-4025. The 2014 Walk raised nearly $37,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association. Teams from the Utica Comets and Alpine Rehabilitation Center in Little Falls were among the top fundraisers at the 2014 event.
Volunteer Committee Chair Seeks Assistance
A volunteer committee will work with Chapter staff to plan the event. Nick Angelicola of roi Office Interiors in Rome chairs the group of corporate and community representatives from the Mohawk Valley. Booz Allen Hamilton, the U.S. Air Force, and Utica Comets are among the organizations represented on the group.
Angelicola became involved with the event after watching both of his grandmothers live with the disease. “Growing up, Alzheimer’s disease has been prevalent in my life,” Angelicola said. My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with the disease at 54. At a young age I witnessed the terrible pain that this disease caused my Grandmother and my family daily.”
Angelicola’s grandmother fought the disease for 17 years before losing her battle. Recently, his paternal grandmother was diagnosed.
“The pain of the disease does not diminish the second time around,” he said. “Now that I am older, I am able to grasp the full magnitude of the disease. I can now see the affect this disease has on my grandfather, and my entire family.”
Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a community effort powered by volunteers. Angelicola’s hope is to build a robust committee that not only assists on the day of event, but can spread awareness for the event by recruiting new walkers and teams, working with returning participants, and seeking support from the corporate community.
“I hope that having someone from the community advocating for the disease will help the community rally behind the cause and have a huge impact on finding a cure and supporting those who are affected by these terrible disease,” Angelicola said. To join the committee or learn about volunteer opportunities related to Walk, contact Vieira at (315) 617-4025 x120 or by email.