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The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual fundraiser – Walk to End Alzheimer’s – occurs in more than 600 communities across America every year. For the first time ever, the walk will take place in Lawrence on Sunday, September 29.

“Our chapter – Heart of America – has been hosting Walk to End Alzheimer's in communities for the last 25 years. It is time to increase the awareness of Alzheimer's and the Alzheimer's Association in the Lawrence community, and the Walk is the perfect way to do that,” said Laura Blatter, project chairman with the Alzheimer’s Association Heart of America chapter.

Curtis Jones, sales and marketing director at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor, is serving as a committee member for the event after seeing how the disease has impacted others.

“I served as an administrator at a memory care community and saw how devastating the disease can be for the individual and also the family. I was also made aware of the lack of understanding of just how the disease works and how the individual is affected. That is where we need to start. We need to understand that this is not just about someone losing their memory. This is about a disease of the brain. There is so much more to it than memory loss,” said Curtis.

Hosting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Lawrence is a great place to educate others about the disease and encourage people to talk about it.

“Walk to End Alzheimer's is a wonderful community event for all ages. Getting people to start talking about Alzheimer's and telling their stories is imperative to helping increase awareness. Although Alzheimer's is a fatal disease (today), life does not end with diagnosis. People will form Walk teams, families will unite, friends and co-workers will support fundraising efforts — the entire community will come together and that is extremely important when you are dealing with a devastating disease like Alzheimer's,” said Blatter.

There are a number of ways to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s – walk, volunteer, sponsor a walker or make a donation.

“We could always use more volunteers – whether you volunteer to walk at the event or you volunteer to help,” said Curtis.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Lawrence will take place on Sunday, September 29, at South Park (1141 Massachusetts). Registration begins at 8 am., the ceremony starts at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 9:15 a.m. This is a “no-fee” event, however, walkers are encouraged to fundraise. Those who raise at least $100 receive an event T-shirt. Learn more at

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