As I sat down to start this article on this year’s Walk, I had a phone call.
Last year’s East Bay Walk to End Alzheimer’s Chairperson called to tell me that she is dedicating her walk to my Mom. Such a special message to hear. I know my Mom would have liked Ginny.
The 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be my second walk, but it’s going to be different from my first; they say it’s a virtual walk, but thankfully, that’s just a term they’re using.
Because of the Covid-19 situation, gathering in a big group is not advisable. I was tremendously disappointed at the thought that this year’s event would be canceled like so much of my life has been. At first, I wasn’t thrilled with the altered event, but I’ve come around.
By virtual, they mean that the pep talks, sponsors, etc. will all be online. The kick-off speech is virtual, but we won’t be walking in front of computer monitors, thank God!
Each team is encouraged to walk in their neighborhoods, and this is where I get excited. I have a team, Team Fading Memories, and we’ll be walking in Brentwood, California.
Brentwood, California, is a suburb of San Francisco. We have approximately 65,000 residents, which means I have the opportunity to bring awareness to our cause for my entire town. I live less than a mile from our downtown core, so I’ve devised a (mental at this point) plan to do just that.
I’m also a member of our local Rotary Club (and friends with folks from other local clubs), so I have the opportunity to get a lot of walkers. I also plan to ask the people in my support group.
The reason I’m excited about the walk being in my city is simple. I think I’ll get more people walking with my team. We can walk socially distanced. People can join close to where they live to keep the walk as manageable as possible.
Our walk is on October 24, so the weather should be perfect. It was in 2019, and honestly, I think Mother Nature owes us an ideal day. Between pandemics, national heat waves, and all the chaos that has been 2020, we’re due.
Currently, I plan to either gather at my house (in the driveway) and walk to downtown. The farmers market will still be going, so we’ll have to navigate around that, but maybe we’ll pick up some more donations. Can’t hurt to try, right?
We can walk around the (for us) historic downtown neighborhoods or wind from downtown into a pretty sizeable residential neighborhood. We can walk along the main road (on the sidewalk), hopefully raising awareness of Alzheimer’s.
There are other options too. There are two assisted living residences in town; we could head that way. Maybe walk around the one where that’s possible and give the residents a little entertainment.
I’m going to encourage my team to bring the kids, dogs, balloons, noisemakers, whatever we can do to make it fun. I wasn’t able to bring my dogs last year because I walked as a solo fundraiser. I wasn’t alone (see my other article on a 1st timers perspective) but wrestling with three Golden Retrievers at an event I hadn’t participated in before didn’t seem wise.
The details, both for me and the Alzheimer’s Association, are still in the works, but the possibilities are exciting. Once I get the details, I’ll finalize mine and get my team’s fundraising underway.
I have a modest goal of $2000. That shouldn’t be too hard to raise.