Monday, 21 October 2019 15:13

Richmond County Alzheimer's Walk raises $10K

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
More than 50 people came out Saturday for the second annual Alzheimer's Walk at Cole Auditorium. More than 50 people came out Saturday for the second annual Alzheimer's Walk at Cole Auditorium. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — A walk to raise money for Alzheimer’s awareness and to assist families dealing with the disease surpassed its fundraising goal this weekend.


More than 50 people joined Richmond County Aging Services at Cole Auditorium on Saturday for the second annual Alzehimer’s Walk.

Aging Services Director Jacqueline Welch said this year’s goal was to raise $8,000 — much of which had already come in since fundraising efforts began in August.

More than $2,000 was added the day of the walk, bringing this year’s total to $10,058.71, more than twice the amount of last year’s event.

According to Welch, 35% of the funds go toward the Alzheimer’s Association and the other 65% stays in Richmond County and can be used to construct wheelchair ramps, respite care and educational workshops.

This year, Aging Services gave away smoke detectors and door chimes using funds from the inaugural walk.

“If they’re prone to wandering, it will alarm the caregiver,” Welch said of the door chimes.

According to the 2017 State of the County Health Report, Alzheimer’s was the sixth leading cause of death in 2016. The number of Alzheimer’s deaths in the county increased from four in 2011 to 25 in 2015, as shown in the 2016 Community Health Assessment.

While Alzheimer’s is traditionally thought of being a disease that affects the elderly, Welch said that isn’t always the case, with some patients being diagnosed in their 40s and 50s.

According to the Mayo Clinic, about 5 percent of all Alzheimer’s patients start showing symptoms before the age of 65.

Among the walkers were the Dixon Ramblers, who once again had a large presence at the event.

Their patriarch, Hayden Dixon, was diagnosed in 2011 and family members took turns taking care of him until he passed away in February.

In addition to booths set up by Aging Services, Richmond County Hospice and Carolina Hearts Home Care were food trucks from AMVETS POST 316 and the Richmond County Rescue Squad.