Autumn walks raise money for NJ Alzheimer’s programs
ROSELAND — The last time we checked in on Alzheimer's New Jersey's "Walk to Fight Alzheimer's" series in 2016, the organization had four fall events spread throughout the state. This year, there are five, beginning in Point Pleasant Beach on Saturday, Sept. 22.
The others will be Sunday, Sept. 30 in Morristown (a new addition this year), Sunday, Oct. 7 in Princeton, Saturday, Oct. 13 in Jersey City, and Sunday, Oct. 28 in Paramus, hoping to build on the 10,000 participants and $750,000 raised during the 2017 walks.
For Alzheimer's New Jersey, said President and CEO Ken Zaentz, the walk series taken collectively is the group's biggest annual fundraiser. And because public awareness of Alzheimer's disease continues to grow, these walks are taking on added importance.
"More and more people who are affected are more willing to talk about the disease than they ever were before, and really come out to these walks as an opportunity to connect with other people," Zaentz said.
Treating someone with Alzheimer's disease can be isolating for a caregiver, Zaentz said, so this is also a good opportunity for those people to come together, sharing and developing skills and education.
"There are other people going through the same thing, and as hard as this is, they don't have to do it alone," he said, "and just having that ability and that knowledge that you can connect with someone, you can connect with an organization."
All the money raised by the Walk to Fight Alzheimer's will go toward New Jersey-specific programs, ensuring that the services people learn about while participating in these events remain available to anyone in the state who needs them.
Zaentz said the best place to go for anyone who wants to get involved or find out more is the Alzheimer's New Jersey website, alznj.org.
Patrick Lavery is Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming for New Jersey 101.5, and is lead reporter and substitute anchor for "New Jersey's First News." Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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