Walk to End Alzheimer's
Carnival raises funds for annual event
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Cowetans are gearing up for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's, set for Nov. 2 at the Coweta County Fairgrounds.
Teams and individuals raise money for the Alzheimer's Association through their participation in the event. Money raised is used toward research programs as well as care and support services for Alzheimer's patients – including the estimated 120,000 Georgians living with the disease – and community education programs.
Some teams already are busy raising money for the event.
Lynette Smith is hoping to raise $10,000, and she is already past the halfway point. She and her team, John's Angels, held a carnival Saturday in the parking lot of the Newnan Ruby Tuesday to raise money.
There were games for kids, balloon animals, a dunking booth and several raffle prizes, as well as a dog adoption event held by pit bull rescue organization Bully Wag.
Smith formed John's Angels in honor of her father, who is living with Alzheimer's. The disease also affected Smith's grandfather and two of his sisters.
She decided she wanted to do something.
"My biggest goal is for another family not to get this news," Smith said. "Until I can't do this anymore, this is what I'm going to do."
Saturday's carnival was successful, according to Smith, who said her team received donations of several "great" raffle prizes and some large cash donations. She said. people stopped by to get information, buy raffle tickets, have fun and make donations. John's Angels is also the beneficiary of Ruby Tuesday's Giveback program on Tuesdays.
There were more than 400 participants in last year's Alzheimer's walk, said event co-chairman Jeffery Smith.
This is the third year that the Walk to End Alzheimer's has been held in Coweta. Previously, it was a joint event of Coweta and Fayette counties and was held in Peachtree City.
The event is more than just a walk, according to organizers. It will feature live music and vendors, fun activities and a memory garden for those who have died from the disease.
Alzheimer's, a terminal illness, is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Jeffery Smith said the walk is usually one mile but they're looking at making it a bit longer and "trying to see if we can actually turn it into a little bit of a race."
For more information, to sign up or to join a team, visit www.alz.org/walk .