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COVID-19 alters Alzheimer's walk
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COVID-19 alters Alzheimer's walk

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COVID-19 brings changes to 2020 Walk To End Alzheimer’s

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Missouri Alzheimer's Association is making changes to this year's "Walk to End Alzheimer's" set for Saturday. Instead of the walk being held as one large gathering, participants are being encouraged to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across the city of Farmington.

It might look a little different this year, but the Alzheimer’s Association "Walk to End Alzheimer’s is returning Saturday, Sept. 26 to the Parkland in a slightly different format.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Missouri Alzheimer’s Association (GMAA) has announced that it will not be hosting a large gathering this year. Instead, the organization is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across the Parkland.

More information about the walk on Saturday can be found at https://act.alz.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=walk_homepage.

“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we,” said Stacy Tew-Lovasz, GMAA chapter president. “Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.

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“This year’s 'Walk to End Alzheimer’s' will be everywhere. The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn’t change the need to walk. With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”

Farmington residents, as well as anyone living anywhere in the Parkland, are encouraged to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease by participating in the annual event despite the change in format made necessary in light of the coronavirus.

The GMAA is stressing that, regardless of the new format, “time-honored components” of the "Walk to End Alzheimer’s" will be returning again this year.

“On the day of the walk, the opening ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — and all delivered to participants' smartphones, tablets and computers,” Tew-Lovasz said.

“To enhance the participant experience leading up to the event and on walk day, new features are being added to the 'Walk to End Alzheimer’s' mobile app to create an opportunity for the community to connect."

Participants can use the app and new "Walk Mainstage" to track their steps and distance, follow a virtual Walk path, manage their Facebook fundraisers, and access information and resources from the association and walk sponsors to help individuals and families affected by the disease.

Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or kjenkins@farmingtonpressonline.com

“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we.” – Stacy Tew-Lovasz, GMAA chapter president

Stacy Tew-Lovasz on changes to Alzheimer's walk

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