Special garden to highlight Alzheimer’s Walk on Oct. 1

By Carol Higgins Taylor,
Posted Sept. 19, 2011, at 8:49 p.m.

Gardens are good for the soul and while they are typically hard work, the end result is worth the effort.

The Alzheimer’s Association agrees with this sentiment, so this year at the Bangor Walk to End Alzheimer’s, formerly the Memory Walk, flowers will be planted in the Promise Garden as a representation of how many people are affected by Alzheimer’s in one way or another.

As with the typical flower garden and the effort it takes to nurture, this garden will exemplify the work that the Alzheimer’s Association does to end this debilitating and life-stealing disease.

Now, these are not just any flowers. They are, in fact, nylon pinwheels with plastic stems that will be “planted” in the ground at Hollywood Slots Raceway at Bass Park, where the Bangor Walk to End Alzheimer’s begins.

When walkers arrive, they will select a flower that symbolizes their individual situation. Then they will grab a marker to write personal messages on the petals.

There are four different flowers available, each with a different meaning. Multicolored flowers mean: I have Alzheimer’s. Yellow flowers mean: I am supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Purple flowers mean: I have lost someone to Alzheimer’s. Orange flowers mean: I support the cause and a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

Come join the Alzheimer’s Association Bangor Walk to End Alzheimer’s that steps off for a 3-mile jaunt on Saturday, Oct. 1, with registration beginning at 8 a.m.

This walk is a great way to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s while raising much-needed funds for the local services that directly benefit people with the disease, their families and caregivers as well as research for an end to Alzheimer’s.

“Funds raised through the Bangor Walk to End Alzheimer’s support the 37,000 individuals and caregivers affected by the disease here in Maine,” said Kristie Miner, director of the Reflections program at Westgate Manor in Bangor and walk chairman. “The walk is the largest fundraising event specifically dedicated to supporting the programs of the Alzheimer’s Association, such as their 24-hour hotline, the 43 caregiver support groups, education and training programs, care management, public policy and advocacy, not to mention research aimed at finding a cause, cure, treatment and prevention of the disease.”

There are 13 walks around the state scheduled for Sept. 24 and Oct 1, and the fundraising goal is $440,000. This is the 21st year of walks in Maine to support Alzheimer’s.

“The Promise Walk on the half-mile race track makes it easier for people with Alzheimer’s disease to participate with their families. It is a great opportunity for families to feel empowered as they navigate this challenging disease,” said Miner. “All of the walkers will convene at 10:30 a.m. for the awards presentation. By the time the walkers are back, the Promise Garden will be planted. Walkers will be encouraged to wander through the garden, find their flower and bring it home as a reminder and thank you for their efforts to end Alzheimer’s.”

You can register as an individual, or think of a catchy name and pull together a team, then set a personal or team goal and get pledges from friends and family. If you are currently undecided, you also may register the day of the walk.

“Walkers raising $100 will get a T-shirt,” said Miner. “And to make things easier, walkers have the option of handing in their donations and getting their T-shirts early by coming to Pizza Hut on Bangor Mall Boulevard 4:30-7 p.m. Sept. 22.”

For more information, call the Alzheimer’s Association at 800-272-3900, log on http://www.alz.org/maine or call Kristie Miner at 942-7336.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Email Higgins Taylor at chtaylor@eaaa.org. For information on EAAA, call 942-2865, or toll-free 800-432-7812, email info@eaaa.org or log on EAAA.org. TTY 992-0150.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/19/the-midcoast-beacon/special-garden-to-highlight-alzheimer%e2%80%99s-walk-on-oct-1/ printed on October 31, 2014