Who says Throwback Thursday has to be a picture? Today We go back to October and a event that is close to our heart, the Alzheimer's walk. Seeing what this disease does on a constant basis makes you want to do what you can to fight it, on October 12th we joined many at the Alzheimer's Walk at Alton Baker Park.
It was a crisp, but warmer than usual morning for a typical October day in Eugene Oregon. This year the summer heat seemed to last until Late September and the fall weather seemed to still be an unseen bumbling threat looming in the distance. It was chilly, but it could have been worse. Much worse! In recent years Mother Nature has not been so kind this time of year. Today was . . . different.
As I arrived at Alton Baker Park sometime around 8:00 am, Some of the tents had already been erected and placed in the areas we had laid out on paper months before, and tables and chairs were being set up inside. We were setting everything up in preparation of the 2014 Eugene Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease. The next few hours were spent assembling signs, hanging banners, raising flags, and getting ready for the crowd of several hundred who would gather for one reason, finding an end to the Nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.
As the hours blew by more and more people arrived to help set everything up. The stage was assembled and so was the purple balloon arch that would stand as the start and the finish line marker of the 3.4 mile path along the river that would be marched by so many.
At about Noon the band arrived. They set up and took the stage and started playing great songs by the likes of the Beatles, the Eagles, and Crosby Stills, and Nash all while the different Senior Care Communities like Churchill Estates, many of which also have Memory Care facilities, set up their booths.
After months and months of planning and preparation, it was time! The festivities had started and the crowd slowly poured in. Many folks from all around the state were there to walk in support of finding a cure. People dressed head to toe in the color Purple, the official color of the Alzheimer’s Association, signed up at the registration tent, and picked up their flower shaped pin wheels colored differently to symbolize their personal connection to Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Blue represents someone with Alzheimer's or dementia
- Yellow represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.
- Orange is for everyone who supports the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer’s
- Purple is for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease.
After the band played, I was asked to address the crowd, thank the band, and make stage announcements, we were then treated to a special song from Micah with a local Assisted Living Facility and a heartfelt and motivating speech from local TV newsman Matt Tempelman and then finally we were off!
The Path of the Walk stretched along the Willamette River from Alton Baker Park passed Valley River Mall Across the Greenway Bike bridge and back again to the DeFazio Bike Bridge leading to Alton Baker Park. Passing cars honked with support, awareness was raised and plans for next year’s walk were already being formulated.
Upon our return, we were greeted by cheers of support from the Sigma Kappa girls and the colorful pinwheel flowers had been planted in the Promise Garden and made a stunningly beautiful site.
Churchill Estates Independent Living, Assisted Living, Residential Care and Memory Care are proud Sponsors of the Alzheimer’s Walk. This year our Residents, family members and staff helped raise sixty seven thousand dollars at the Eugene Walk to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and we would love for you to join our walk team for next year.