To enhance the participant experience leading up to the event and on Walk day, new features are being added to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app to create an opportunity for the community to connect. Participants can use the app and new “Walk Mainstage” to track their steps and distance, follow a virtual Walk path, manage their Facebook fundraisers, and access information and resources from the Association and Walk sponsors to help individuals and families affected by the disease. A new audio track is available to encourage participants along the way and to congratulate them upon completion of their Walk.
“The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn’t change the need to walk,” said David Wanzer, Oklahoma City Walk to End Alzheimer’s walk co-chair. “This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”
The Oklahoma City walk is a consistent, annual leader in this fundraising effort. Of 600 national walks last year, Oklahoma City was the number 18 fundraiser. The Oklahoma City Walk has been a top 20 Walk for the past decade.
“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we,” said Jessica Daniels, Oklahoma City Walk to End Alzheimer’s manager. “We must continue Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together. Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.”
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. In Oklahoma alone, there are more than 67,000 people living with the disease and 226,000 caregivers.
“This year we need to double down, get as many people involved as possible, raise all the money we can,” Fried said. “Fundraising continues until the end of the year. There is time for everyone to raise money.
“It’s just so important for us this year that there are lots of people raising money. It’s important to keep the momentum toward our mission of fighting this disease. A nonprofit is only able to meet its mission when it is able to raise funds. We want to capture the momentum we had six months ago.