‘A Walk to Remember’ successful in raising awareness, funding

Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

The final numbers are in for the “A Walk to Remember 2015” fundraiser held at Dothan’s Westgate Park in October.

Ann Marie Hussey, who leads the Alzheimer’s Support Group in Troy, said this year’s fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Resource Center in Dothan was a great success. The Walk raised $103,594.91 to be used locally to help Alzheimer’s families in Southeast Alabama and four counties in Florida.

A Walk to Remember is not a part of a national walk.

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“There are an estimated 87,000 individuals with Alzheimer’s disease in Alabama and about 10,000 in the Resource Center’s service area,” Hussey said. “The programs and services now in existence are dependent on funds from A Walk to Remember to continue another year.”

In addition to the $100,000-plus raised by the 2015 Walk, Hussey said there were in-kind donations in the amount of $20,000.

Hussey, whose dad Ray Hickman was an Alzheimer’s victim, participates annually in A Walk to Remember. She walked, first, in honor of her dad and, then, in remembrance of him.

This year, Hussey was the Walk’s top individual fundraiser with $4,600.

“I usually walk as a member of a team but this year several team members were unable to walk,” Hussey said. “My fundraising efforts were the same. I contacted my usual sponsors and, throughout the year, I have yard sales and all of the money raised goes to A Walk to Remember.”

Hussey said Troy Health and Rehabilitation Center and The Messenger had teams in the walk and their time and donations were greatly appreciated.

“The Walk is bringing greater awareness to Alzheimer’s disease and more people are supporting the fundraising efforts,” Hussey said. “Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease and families that are affected need a place where they can go for support and comfort.

“Six years ago, 4,552 families were served by the Alzheimer’s Resource Center. From July 1, 2014 until June 30, 2015, 23,234 families were served.

“A family counts as one, so many more individuals were served than the number shows,” Hussey said. “When an individual has Alzheimer’s, the family is affected as well.”

The Alzheimer’s Resource Center provides support to Alzheimer’s patients and their families that includes monthly family support groups, caregiver help lines, peer counseling, training for families and caregivers, books and other informational materials and programs for civic groups and churches.

The Alzheimer’s Resource Center is located at 1314 Westgate Parkway, Suite 2 in Dothan. The number to call for information is 334-702-2273 or 888-702-8689. The web address is www.wesharethecare.org.

“Anyone who has a family member who has Alzheimer’s disease is encouraged to contact the Alzheimer’s Resource Center for any questions or concerns they might have,” Hussey said. “The center is there in support of Alzheimer’s patients and their families.”