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Walk to End Alzheimer’s goes virtual

The time has come for the annual Farmville Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and although the COVID-19 pandemic means large gatherings aren’t possible, residents can still show their support by participating in a virtual walk Saturday, Sept. 26.

It is perhaps easier than ever this year to participate in the Walk. Typically held on a Thursday, participants of the walk can spend Saturday, Sept. 26, walking wherever they please, be it on a trail, through the neighborhood or simply in the backyard. This year’s walk is everywhere.

And to help raise awareness and prepare the town for the Walk, local businesses are invited to participate in Farmville’s first annual Paint the Town Purple event.

In order to participate in the event, local business owners and workers are asked to wear purple clothing, decorate their business with purple ribbons or displays, feature purple treats, drinks or other items and share information and resources to store visitors about Alzheimer’s and dementia.

As a part of the event, the best purple-themed window display will be voted on by the public on the Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter’s Facebook page during the week of Sept. 21-27.

Those interested in walking this year can register for free at ALZ.org/walk, where they can then gain access to the Alzheimer’s Association’s participant center. The center includes information on items such as the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app, which can be used by participants to track steps the day of the walk, set goals and share progress on social media.

The participant center also includes a link to the Main Stage, which will give walkers access to the virtual opening ceremony on the day of the Walk, allow participants to virtually visit sponsor booths, etc.

The annual Promise Garden typically featured during the Walk can be viewed this year in a “drive-thru” format at Farmville’s LOVE sign on Main Street.

Despite any setbacks regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Local Walk Event Chair Ce Nichols said volunteers and organizations are working hard to make this year’s walk a success, with great results thus far.

The fundraising goal for Farmville’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is set at $25,000 this year.

Locally, a friendly fundraising battle is going on between The Woodland, Inc. and the Farmville Lions Club.

Currently, the Lions Club has reached $2,145 of its $3,000 fundraising goal. Competition is fierce, with The Woodland listed as having raised $1,775 of its $2,500 goal as of Monday afternoon, Sept. 14.

The Woodland will also be raffling off gift baskets again this year in order to aid in fundraising. This year’s raffle drawing is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24 at noon.

According to Marion Kyner, Alzheimer’s Association community educator and support group facilitator and psychiatric clinical nurse specialist at The Woodland, The Walk to End Alzheimer’s started in 1989 and is held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide. It’s the world’s largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Edward Jones Investments and CVS Pharmacy are both national supporters of the walk. The Sigma Kappa Foundation is a national team, and its Longwood chapter has helped to organize the Farmville Walk.

For more information on the Farmville Walk to End Alzheimer’s, contact Nichols at mrscmnichols@yahoo.com or (304) 813-8728.