Saturday September 24, 2016 kicked off the first Alzheimer’s New Jersey Walk to fight Alzheimer’s.. The Southern Regional Walk is held along the beautiful shoreline of Point Pleasant Beach New Jersey.With heavy rain, the crowd gathered early surrounded by music, balloons and banners. Homage was paid to loved ones. They shared stories, and wrote names on the Memory Wall. Sponsors handed out gifts and every participant received a free T-Shirt.
Ann Pagnoni, Alzheimer’s New Jersey Southern Regional Committee Chair opened the Ceremony, followed by a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.
Award winning journalist Brian Thompson, reporter for NBC NY was the keynote speaker. “ The Gods are weeping for this terrible affliction…170,000 diagnosed and 300,000 caregivers providing ½ billion dollars in unpaid care in New Jersey.”
Thompson could not help but wonder if his mother, although never formally diagnosed had Alzheimer’s. She was extremely forgetful and had fallen. For 24 hours she laid on the floor with a broken hip. Finally she found the strength to crawl and bang on the door for help.
He chanted along with the crowd “ Alzheimer’s is relentless and we must be relentless”
Russell Rothman, Chair of the board for Alzheimer’s New Jersey shared his story next.
30 years ago his mother, only a few years older than him came down with Alzheimer’s. After many car accidents and concerns, he and his brothers didn’t know where to turn. A friend told him about the hotline. A counselor stayed on the phone with them for 2 1/2 hours and helped them with support and care for their mom.
Rothman celebrated their new name. Alzheimer’s New Jersey. Proud to be independent as a nonprofit organization continuing to serve the local community.
Now 100% of the funds raised and services donated in New Jersey are used solely to aid the state’s residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. He thanked all the generous people from sponsors, donors, volunteers and local community.
Mayor Steven Reid took the stage to emphasize the support of his community of Point Pleasant to Alzheimer’s New Jersey.
This was Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s President and CEO, Ken Zaentz’s 20th walk. He reiterated you’re not alone in this fight! You are not alone in this disease!
He stressed the message that we have to work together as a community, lean on each other for support, and utilize the resources and services provided by Alzheimer’s New Jersey. He honored caregivers. Heroes and superheroes were recognized for their outstanding fundraising and were invited to appear on stage.
“New Jersey will continue to fight until there is a cure. We will be here to support those diagnosed and their caregivers.”
As the ceremony closed the March began. Those diagnosed, caregivers, family and friends walked along the beach in honor of their loved ones.
Halfway through the walk supporters were greeted by a procession of bagpipes. The walk ended in the same place it began. We laughed, danced to music and enjoyed the comfort of knowing we are not alone. We are inspired by Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s message :
“Alzheimer’s New Jersey Is here to support and battle together. We support, educate and listen. Together we will put an end to this disease. This is our fight to win”
Alzheimer’s is a devastating diagnosis.There is no prevention, slowing of the disease or cure. Those battling and their caregivers are in desperate need of support and resources. There is still time to support Alzheimer’s New Jersey in providing these resources and services, visit here
There are 3 more walks
Liberty State Park Regional Walk – Liberty State Park, Jersey City – Saturday, October 1, 2016
Central Regional Walk – ETS, 660 Rosedale Rd., Princeton – Sunday, October 9, 2016
Northern Regional Walk – Bergen Community College, Paramus – Sunday, October 30, 2016
For more information please visit
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