Walk for Alzheimer’s raises awareness with first outdoor Walk

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald A Pipe Band led the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s on Saturday afternoon at Kinsmen Park.

Kinsmen Park was the new home for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s on Saturday afternoon. Traditionally it has been in January at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse but this year they made a change.

Laura Erickson the first link coordinator with the Alzheimer’s Society of Saskatchewan or Prince Albert said that they expected around 30 walkers for the afternoon.

“I mean, this is the first year we’ve done it outside. So that’s a change,” Erickson said.

“We’ve always done the inside of the Alfred Jenkins centre in January for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. But we have a corporate sponsor, IG Wealth Management, and they prefer that we do them all at once the same weekend,” Erickson said.

Erickson explained that this was the first time with the new format and month and was happy with the change.

“It’s lovely. It’s great to be outside. It’s, it’s a great connection. It’s a central location and it’s a great location,” Erickson said.

The goal of the walk is of course to fundraise but according to Erickson it is more about awareness.

“Money helps programs and services. That helps with information. It helps with research, but mostly it’s to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease-related dementias doesn’t just affect the person that gets that diagnosis,” Erickson said.

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis affects not only the person diagnosed but the family and the community.

Before the walk began there were speeches by Erickson, Rupert Bremner of IG Wealth Management and Bonnie Link discussed why she walks and how an Alzheimer’s diagnosis affected her life.

The walkers were also led in a stretching exercise as part of the opening ceremony.

There was also a moment of silence before the walk officially began after everyone lined up.

“So this is just a way for the community to gather and honour those folks,” she said.

With over 30 people in attendance to walk she was pleased for the awareness that would raise.

“And to have people talking about Alzheimer’s disease is just huge because there is still very much a stigma attached to it because. Who wants that, Right? Yeah. It’s just having that awareness and raising some money. And of course this year, again, Malcolm Jenkins is matching to $20,000,” Erickson said.

She described the matching of funds by Jenkins as phenomenal.

“ The more we can get it out there. Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t just affect the person with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia,” Erickson said.

After being led by a Pipe Band the walk then went around Kinsmen Park.