Cross appointed to head Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2002

More than 4 million Americans are plagued with Alzheimer’s disease, and the Alzheimer’s Association is gearing up to help families coping with the disease. The group is planning the &uot;2002 Memory Walk,&uot; an event that helps pay for the &uot;Safe Return&uot; program and other services.

John Cross III, a long-term care insurance specialist for GE Insurance, has been appointed to serve as the Hampton Roads Regional Champion for the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2002 Memory Walk.

&uot;In this role, I will be responsible for helping lead the fight against Alzheimer’s disease in the Hampton Roads area,&uot; said Cross. &uot;Part of my responsibilities include organizing the Memory Walk here, and also to lead local fund raising efforts. I would also spearhead a voluntary pledge program among the eight long-term care insurance agents in Hampton Roads.&uot;

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Cross said Memory Walk 2002 would take place in more than 400 communities across the nation. Locally, the walks will take place Saturday, Oct. 5 in Virginia Beach, and Sunday, Oct. 6 in Franklin.

Memory Walk, according to Cross, raises funds that pay for hundreds of telephone lines and thousands of support groups and programs like Safe Return. That program has already returned more than 5,800 people with Alzheimer’s disease that became lost.

Cross added that GE Long Term Care Insurance is the single largest corporate partner for the Memory Walk.

This year’s goal is $20 million for the 2002 Memory Walk and all funds raised stays in Hampton Roads, including Suffolk, to help local families.

&uot;GE is proud that its sponsorship will contribute to the goal of creating a world without Alzheimer’s disease,&uot; said Cross. &uot;This sponsorship will help the association provide important services and programs to families in our community and across the country who are coping with Alzheimer’s disease.&uot;

Locally, employees and sales representatives with GE Long Term Care Insurance will participate in the Memory Walk. GE developed an incentive program to encourage its employees to raise funds to aid in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

&uot;GE Long Term Care Insurance is a division of GE Financial, a subsidiary of GE Insurance,&uot; said Cross. &uot;GE provides products and services that help people invest, protect and retire, and the company’s headquarters are located in Richmond but we also operate in 16 other countries.&uot;

Cross also said that the Alzheimer’s Association is the premier source of information and support for families coping with the disease.

&uot;The association also represents the interest of people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers on Alzheimer’s-related issues before federal, state, and local governments, and with health and long term care providers&uot; said Cross. &uot;As the largest private provider of Alzheimer’s research, the association has committed more than $100 million toward research into the causes, treatment, prevention, and cure of the disease.&uot;

For more information about the 2002 Memory Walk and the Alzheimer’s Association, call Cross at 539-2597, or call Gino Colombara at 459-2405, or call the association at 1-800-272-3900 or visit the Web site at