Walk for Alzheimer’s back in-person this Saturday at FFHS

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

Lace up your walking shoes and get ready to hit the track, the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s is back to its traditional in-person event following altered virtual events due to the COVID pandemic.

The Walk is scheduled for this Saturday, June 16, and because the usual staging grounds at the Sorting Gap Marina are still closed off due to high waters, Alzheimer Society of Kenora-Rainy River client services co-ordinator Mary O’Connor has made enough back-up plans to fill a dictionary and moved the entire event to the track at Fort Frances High School.

“We have Plan A, B, C, D, E, F,” O’Connor said.

“Registration is at 10:30 a.m., and then the Walk starts at 11:00 a.m. ‘Whoever wants to walk, however they want to walk’ is how we’re going to do this. We’re going to play it by ear. The weather keeps changing, who knows what it will be like, but I have borrowed the tents from the museum. The community has been really great at pulling together and helping us make this happen.”

The annual awareness walk has been a longtime highlight for the late spring and early summer season, bringing together those living with dementia and their families and supporters to raise awareness about the different diseases. Many events had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic to survive, and the Walk for Alzheimer’s was no exception. O’Connor promoted the Society’s virtual walks through the pandemic, but this year marks a welcome and celebrated return to the in-person event that helps bring people together for a good cause.

“I am so excited,” O’Connor said.

“We were planning all of this, and then the flood hit. But we were going to make this happen, and everyone is going to have fun beside. It’s just such a relief, and I have found that everybody in the community has been so great. Everybody has been so supported, and I’m just so delighted to be able to have this. It’s really become something that our people with dementia can participate in, and their grandchildren. It’s just a fun, good old fashioned picnic.”

With the walk proper kicking off at 11 a.m., O’Connor said there will be activities and games with prizes to be won set up at the track before the registration opens so everyone attending can have a great time all the way through the event. The walk will also be followed by a Barbecue, and O’Connor said she is “absolutely delighted” that the Rainy River District School Board has allowed them to hold the entire event at the track.

“It’s all about participation and entertainment,” O’Connor said.

Those looking to get in on the Walk for Alzheimer’s can pre-register at the Alzheimer Society website before the day of the walk, but O’Connor stressed that anyone and everyone is welcome to come out to the track the day of the walk to participate.

“You can just show up that day,” she said.

“You can just show up and come walk. If you’re not sure, or you wake up that day and decide you want to come? Just come on down.”