A great deal of area residents participated in this year's Rolla Walk to End Alzheimer's.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants walked as individuals and small groups on sidewalks, tracks, and trails across Rolla on Aug. 29, raising more than $13,000 so far to support the care, support and research programs of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“While the Walk definitely looked and felt different this year we heard that there was a great turnout throughout Rolla,” says Joe Pallikkathayil, Rolla Walk Manager. “Walkers saw the challenges this year as an opportunity to motivate themselves and make it the best year we could. Alzheimer’s isn’t slowing down and neither are we.”

Memory Keeper’s Rolla was the top fundraising team at the 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s, raising more than $1,800. This team was led by local walk team captain and committee member Roxann Kelly who lost her mother Julia to dementia earlier this year.

Participants of the Walk tuned in to the online opening ceremony through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s app for a virtual kickoff. Walkers then took to their neighborhoods, local parks and trails to walk at a safe distance and afterward drive by the location of “view only” Promise Garden at Lion’s Club Park, which included the recognition of local sponsors.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In Missouri alone, there are more than 120,000 people living with the disease and 319,000 caregivers, according to the association.

Residents who were not able to participate can still raise funds through the end of the year. Visit alz.org/walk to learn more about how to participate.