Our team was considerably smaller this year than it has been in the past (except for the first year we did it . . . we only had three team members that year, too). My sister was planning to participate, but had something else come up, so it was just my mom, Brianna, and myself. However, even with only a few of us walking, our team raised almost $1000 for Alzheimer's research!
Brianna was a registered walker when we had a team 2 years ago. However, she doesn't remember that (and we weren't able to actually walk due to pouring rain and lightening), but she was SO excited to participate this year!
My mom was our star fundraiser for our team!
I was a little concerned with how I'd do with everything being 19 weeks pregnant with twins. However, it was great. The weather was warm - but not too hot at all - and the walk is just over two miles long. I drank plenty of water and had no problems!
Our team name is Grey Wolf in honor of my Pappy that passed away last October. He suffered with Alzheimer's for over 12 years, so he's the reason we began walking in the first place. This was our first year to walk in memory of him instead of in honor of him :-(.
When we walked in this location 6 years ago, there were maybe a couple of hundred walkers and it was all pretty low-key. However, it has grown tremendously! There were nearly 900 walkers pre-registered according the website. It was really neat to look out across this grassy area and see so many people concerned with Alzheimer's research. This photo also makes me laugh a little because this water was SO tempting to all the children (which there weren't many) at the walk. There are three children with their hands in the water just in my photo! Brianna was no exception . . . she could hardly stand to be next to the water and not be in it!
One thing that was new this year were these memory flower pinwheels. Every participant got a flower and we could write whatever we wanted on them. There were four colors of flowers - each color representing something specific. The purple flower represented those who had lost a loved one due to Alzheimer's Disease.
This is Mom's flower. We took photos of them because at the beginning of the walk we handed them off to walk volunteers who "planted" everyone's flower in the grass. We could get them back once the walk was over, but we weren't sure if we could find ours in the sea of flowers. However, we were able to find all three! Brianna's and mine now reside in our flowerbed at home.
Before the walk began, there were several speakers. One speaker explained what each color of flower represented (purple for those who've lost a loved one to Alzheimer's, orange for those who support someone with Alzheimer's, yellow for those who are caretakers for someone with Alzheimer's, and blue for those living with Alzheimer's), and as he did he had all the participants with that color raise their flower.
As the actual walk began, it was really neat to see such a crowd of people walking. We walked down the street from the park and toward the local baseball stadium.
We were pretty much in the middle of the walkers with a large crowd in front of and behind us.
We were instructed to walk the perimeter of the baseball field as part of the walk. This was something we'd never done before and was really neat! The mascot was even out there cheering us on.
Like I said above, the walk was a little over two miles. There were tables set up along the way with cold water and snacks, and once we got back to the park, we had purple snowcones! I was a little warm at this point, so I really enjoyed that snowcone! Brianna did, too :-).
We didn't make it to many of the booths that were set up, but Brianna really wanted to have her face painted. Most of the booths take down immediately after the walk is over, but we made it to this one just in time. Brianna was the last one to get her face painted before they packed up. I'm not sure why those running this booth were dressed like this? Brianna was entertained by it though :-).
I want to say a sincere "Thank You" to all of those who supported me financially and otherwise so I could participate in this walk! It was a wonderful experience, and I hope to do it again next year!
After the walk, we did a bit of shopping (for the babies, mostly), then headed home and put our feet up! I was worn smooth out that evening! While we were gone, my dad and Chris worked on some shelving that I requested they make for the kids' bedrooms to help get our toys organized a bit better. I will definitely share photos of them when they are finished. I wasn't sure if I would take Bren with us on the walk or if he would stay with Chris, but he was insistent on staying with the "boys" and working in the garage. The boy LOVES tools and building, so he was super excited about their plans for the day. He's very proud of the shelves they built!