The very first Langley-Aldergrove-Abbotsford Walk for Memories blew all expectations out of the water, and for this the volunteer organizers have so many good people to thank.
The fundraiser for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. was one of 24 Walks for Memories around the province on Sunday, Jan. 29. Pouring rain, gusting winds and a miserable chill in Aldergrove didn’t deter more than 200 people from turning out at the Athletic Park, where donations gradually rose to an amazing $42,000 and change. (The final total may be slightly higher.)
This achievement — the fourth-highest total, behind only walks in Vancouver, Kamloops and Surrey/White Rock — shows what our caring community can do when inspired by a brave honoree, Brenda Reddick, who at age 51 has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Brenda’s husband, Rick, is a Township assistant fire chief and firefighters rallied brilliantly to Brenda’s appeal.
So also did some wonderful students and teachers from local schools, area businesses, families experiencing the ravages of dementia — and just “ordinary” individuals who heard about the fundraiser and wanted to help.
Alzheimer’s and other dementia already affect more than 70,000 individuals and families in B.C. and, with baby-boomers entering their senior years, this toll, sadly, is likely to rise. As yet, there is no cure.
However, thanks to the contributions of hundreds of caring Fraser Valley residents, there is now more money to support victims of dementia.
Thanks to the contributions of hundreds of caring Fraser Valley residents, there is now more money for research into dementia prevention and cure.
Thanks to the contributions of hundreds of caring Fraser Valley residents, the dozens of students who volunteered so enthusiastically for this event may one day see a world without dementia.
Thank you, Aldergrove, on behalf of the 2012 local Walk for Memories volunteer committee (Amery Ai, Colin Buckoke, Bruce Farquhar, Marilyn Fischer, Sue Hull, Karen Long, Thanh Ma, Susan O’Neill, Rose Puszka, Rob Ruggles, Christina Strong, Brian Zeiner), and other generous souls who gave their time and their energy to help create this event from scratch.
Janet Ingram-Johnson, volunteer chair, Aldergrove