The annual Altona Walk for Alzheimer's was hosted at The Gardens on Tenth Wednesday morning. The walk not only raises awareness about Alzheimer's, but also makes a meaningful impact in the lives of those affected by this devastating disease. It is an inspiring initiative to unite individuals, families, and caregivers to support and honour those with Alzheimer's. 

The Walk for Alzheimer's is not just a simple stroll, but a powerful movement that demonstrates unity, compassion, and determination to make a difference.

Community members, grade four West Park School students, and volunteers joined the walk cheering each other on. Students carried a banner bearing the slogan "Walk for Alzheimer's Make Memories Matter," catching the eye of passersby, igniting exchanges about the importance of memory and the need for research and support. 

"Everyone in our community will be, at some point in their life, affected by Alzheimer's because it impacts not just the individual but also their loved ones," said Mayor Harv Schroeder. "Thanks for being here to raise awareness and funds, and to walk together as a reminder that nobody is alone in this fight." 

Participants gathered at The Gardens on Tenth, representing their commitment to the cause. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm as they eagerly ventured on the traditional route that wound around the tree donated by the Alzheimer's Society of Manitoba years ago. 

Every year since it was planted, the Alzheimer's Society walk always ends up at that tree to take a group photo. 

The event is not only about raising funds, but also about raising awareness.  

Janice Stoesz, a passionate participant, expressed her deep connection to the cause, saying, "It does bring back memories of Mom, and in ways, it also brings back some tough times... I am so thankful that there is help for people, and they just have to reach out, and it is here for them.." 

As the walk concluded, the participants returned to The Gardens on Tenth, where Sun Valley CO-OP prepared a hot dog BBQ lunch. Participants beamed with a sense of accomplishment and hope. $12,245 were raised towards supporting the Alzheimer's Society of Manitoba, funding research, and providing essential services for individuals and families impacted by the disease. 

"This walk is so important to our communities. This is really where people have a chance to feel that community that they're not alone… I hope that people who come today realize that there's a whole community around them because it is a difficult diagnosis that's hard to hear," said Erin Crawford, CEO of the Alzheimer's Society of Manitoba. 

The Altona Walk for Alzheimer's is more than just a walk; it is a transformative experience that unites a community in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. It serves as a reminder to treasure our memories and support those struggling with memory loss.