Nearly 200 area residents participated in this year’s Utica/Rome Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants walked as individuals and small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across the Mohawk Valley, raising more than $37,500 to date for the care, support and research programs of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“We missed coming together with all of our friends and supporters from across the region this year,” said Catherine James, chief executive officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter. “Knowing that our walkers still donned their purple and took to their sidewalks, streets and neighborhoods to fight for an end to Alzheimer’s speaks to their commitment and passion for our cause.”

Walkers took part in an online opening ceremony hosted by Beth Coombs from Lite 98.7 using a smartphone app to measure their progress on walk day. After wrapping up their activity, walkers were able to visit a view-only Promise Garden at Sherrillbrook Park in New Hartford. The 2020 Alzheimer’s Association, Walk to End Alzheimer’s—Utica/Rome was sponsored by roi Office Interiors, Adirondack Bank, Bank of America and WKTV-TV.

Nancy Purcell of Caroga Lake was the top individual fundraiser at $5,210. Her team, Team Berta, was the top fundraising team at $8,145. Purcell and her family walk in memory of her mother, Roberta Lash, who died from Alzheimer’s disease. Donations for Walk to End Alzheimer’s can be submitted through Dec. 31.

The health and safety of our staff, volunteers and event participants was our primary driver in our decision to move Walk to End Alzheimer’s from a large, in-person gathering to a socially-distanced event where walkers plan their own walk route. The online opening ceremony can be viewed at

More than five 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 dementias. In New York alone, there are more than 410,000 people living with the disease and nearly 1.1 million caregivers.

The 2020 Utica/Rome Walk to End Alzheimer’s is one of five fundraising walks sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter. The Chapter previously held events in Watertown (Sept. 12), Ithaca/Cortland (Sept. 13), Binghamton (Sept. 26) and Syracuse (Sept. 27). Register and donate at

By martha

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