Bainbridge Walk to End Alzheimer’s sees large Saturday turnout

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Prior to the River South festivities on Saturday, crowds gathered downtown on the square for a different reason: this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Created by the Alzheimer’s Association, the event is held in hundreds of communities across the nation, and is the world’s largest Alzheimer’s-related fundraiser.
This year saw 23 teams participate in the walk. “I think fundraising was down a little this year,” Suzi Bonifay, member of the local Alzheimer’s Association steering committee, told the Post-Searchlight, though she did say that the funds raised were still similar to other walks across the country. The local chapter will continue to raise funds through December, with the total amount raised sitting at $38,104.50. “That said, our local sponsors were just fantastic,” Bonifay added.
The walk began early that morning with Bonifay and Ronnie Burke acting as co-MCs at the opening ceremony. Julian Sims with First Baptist Church provided the prayer, while Krystal Apke sang the national anthem. Pippy Rogers, Board Chairman for the Georgia chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association led those in attendance in a round of “laughter yoga”, while Rolie Hancock with Edward Jones and steering committee co-chair Kathy Varner also spoke.
The walk was led by the BHS marching band along the route. In the weeks leading up to the walk, raffle tickets were sold for a Big Green Egg grill; after the walk concluded and the procession returned to the square, the raffle winner was announced as Rob McRae.
According to Bonifay, those who participated gave positive feedback about the event. Next year’s walk is already scheduled for October 19, 2024. Next year will also potentially see the addition of a pickle ball fundraiser, in addition to the current golf and tennis fundraisers.
“ On a personal note,” Bonifay said, “I applaud all of the volunteers, team members, sponsors, guests from the Georgia Alzheimer’s headquarters, speakers and steering committee for hosting another wonderful Walk in the quest to eradicate this disease.” She added, “If anyone finds themselves in need of information about about Alzheimer’s, being a caregiver or information about resources, please reach out to any committee member for assistance.”

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