Alzheimer’s walk at new Suffolk location

Published 10:17 pm Friday, September 6, 2019

The Western Tidewater Walk to End Alzheimer’s returns to Suffolk this month with a jam-packed day of activities at a brand-new location.

The Suffolk walk will take place on Sept. 14 at YMCA Camp Arrowhead, 275 Kenyon Road. The event was previously held at Constant’s Wharf Park in downtown Suffolk, and the amenities at the new venue on Kenyon Road are expected to be great for participants.

“Parking and traffic were issues at our previous location,” Barbara Monteith, development manager for the Alzheimer’s Association, wrote in an email. “At Camp Arrowhead, however, there is plenty of free parking, and the wooded campus makes for a very pleasant walk experience.”

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The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, according to

The Suffolk walk is a very family-friendly event — and also pet friendly, with many participants bringing their dogs, Monteith wrote — to move past the stigma attached to Alzheimer’s disease.

“Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to this disease, so living with Alzheimer’s can be an isolating experience for both the diagnosed person as well as their caregiver,” Monteith wrote. “However, Walk day is a joyful event where participants can learn about services that are available to them and realize that they are not alone.”

Check-in for the Suffolk walk will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the opening ceremony at 9:40 a.m. and then the walk at 10 a.m. This walk will include a three-mile route, and there will be a one-mile option as well.

Every registered walker will receive a “Promise Garden Flower” that will have a certain color to signify their connection to Alzheimer’s, Monteith wrote.

Participants diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia will receive blue flowers, caregivers yellow flowers, purple for people who have lost someone to the disease and orange for people who may not have a personal connection to the disease, but still support the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Representatives from each of these groups will be part of the opening ceremony,” Monteith wrote. “This is a very moving part of the entire day when participants learn that they are not alone in their journey with Alzheimer’s.”

One of the most important aspects of the Suffolk walk, according to Monteith, is the advocacy cards.

Participants are asked to sign these advocacy cards, which are then sent to elected officials and usually include a request for more federal funding on Alzheimer’s research.

“As a result of these advocacy efforts, funding for Alzheimer’s research in the U.S. has increased from $448 million in 2011 to $2.3 billion in 2019,” Monteith wrote.

There is no registration fee for the walk, although every walker is encouraged to make a personal donation and commit to raising funds in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Additionally, every registered participant will receive a T-shirt after achieving the fundraising minimum of $100.

As of Friday evening, $46,602 has been raised towards the Suffolk Walk’s $88,000 fundraising goal this year, and 218 participants have registered for the Suffolk walk.

Contact Barbara Monteith at 793-5077 or for more information, or visit