Monday, September 21, 2015

2015 Walk to End Alzheimer's

I've written quite a bit on here about my grandfather who had Alzheimer's Disease for the last 12 years of his life. Alzheimer's Disease is a terrible thing to witness take a loved one. My grandfather (Pappy) had what is considered "early onset Alzheimer's", and he passed away almost two years ago. 

In 2008, my mom, my sister, and I began participating in an annual Alzheimer's Walk in honor of my Pappy. We have walked in both the Tulsa and Springfield walks, and this year decided to walk in Springfield (we like the Springfield walk better). The walk was this past weekend, and Team Grey Wolf (which included Chloe Jo and Brianna) raised about $1780 to benefit Alzheimer's Research!

The walk is something I really enjoy. I hope someday to be able to volunteer more of my time toward this cause. I'm so glad that Brianna enjoys participating in it with me. 

Lisa and Chloe Jo haven't been able to walk with us every year, but we were thrilled to have them with us this time. 

Our prayer is that by the time these little ladies are older, Alzheimer's Disease will be a thing of the past.

I have been the Team Captain the past several years, but my mom is our star fund raiser.

Brianna took this photo of the big girls :-).

Our multi-generational team is small, but we are thrilled with our small contribution to the cause!

One thing I like about the Springfield Walk is that we walk around the Springfield Cardinals baseball stadium. This year, Louie (the Springfield Cardinals mascot) was also there for the walk!

We have watched the walk grow over the years. According to the official walk website, there were over 1100 registered walkers this year! In 2008, I think there were under 500 registered walkers, so it has definitely gotten bigger! There were also more booths this year than even last year. There were even funnel cakes!

We also got lots of little goodies that the girls enjoyed. 

One of my favorite things that the Alzheimer's Association has started to do in recent years is give each participant a pinwheel flower. The flowers are different colors, and each color represents different ways that the participants have been effected by Alzheimer's. We carried purple flowers which represented losing a loved one to Alzheimer's. Pens are provided at the walk for each participant to write on their flower if they wish. 

During the pre-walk ceremony, a speaker talks about each color and asks participants carrying that color to raise their flower in honor of their loved one. 

Then, as the walk begins, volunteers collect all the flowers and plant them in a "garden". It makes for a beautiful sight (we do get the flowers back at the end). 

Something new this year was the tribute wall. This was a large, wooden, tri-fold wall on which we were able to write tributes.

Our tribute to Pappy:

After all the booth visiting, flower holding, picture taking, and tribute writing, we were finally able to begin the walk!

We walked a little over 2 miles, part of which was around Hammons Field (where the Springfield Cardinals play). 

Walking into the stadium:

We walked the perimeter of the field while music played. The energy was really great.

Of course, Brianna couldn't just walk. She skipped, jumped, danced, and boogied her way around the field :-).

Lisa and Chloe Jo enjoying the scenery:

Brianna and Momma:

At the end of the walk route, there was a little snocone station. We couldn't resist :-).

As always, we had a great time at the walk. We are so appreciative of all the friends and family that donated to this cause and supported our walk. It is something that is very near and dear to our hearts. We are looking forward to next year!

2008 Walk to End Alzheimer's
2009 Walk to End Alzheimer's
2010 Walk to End Alzheimer's
2012 Walk to End Alzheimer's 
2014 Walk to End Alzheimer's

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