Solomons, MD –
 Gray overcast skies gave way to sunshine Saturday morning, Sept. 17 as purple-clad participants arrived at Asbury Solomons for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The event attracted hundreds of participants of various ages. Their aim is to raise awareness of the devastating disease. Walkers also strive to raise money for the challenge of finding a cure.

Cindy Schelhorn, director of Communications and Marketing for the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter, announced prior to the start of the walk that as of noon Friday, Sept. 16 over $52,000 had been pledged by the Solomons participants. That represents 83 percent of the event’s fundraising goal.

Schelhorn noted the team known as the “Care Blairs” was tops among all walking teams with over $14,000 raised by its members. Calvert Caregivers and the Purple Pancakes were second and third, respectively. The top individual walker in terms of money raised was Marianne Blair.

Alzheimer’s, Schelhorn stated, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and currently there is “no prevention, treatment or cure.” She thanked the advocates who are “making a difference” by lobbying Congress for additional research funding. “Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the country,” said Schelhorn. “It’s going to bankrupt us.”

Andrew Applegate, Asbury Solomon’s departing executive director, told the gathering that the retirement community has proudly hosted the event for 10 years and perhaps the event can eventually transition to a happier occasion where “we celebrate a cure.”

Recently the national Alzheimer’s Association issued a $7 million “challenge” to scientists to expedite drug research to find a treatment for the disease, which is progressive brain degeneration.

In addition to the teams–many comprised of the family members of someone who has Alzheimer’s or who has died from the disease—event participants included the Boy Scouts, American Heritage Girls Troop MD1888 and the Patuxent High School cheerleading squad. Over 100 volunteers performed the various tasks required to make the event a success.

For more information on the Alzheimer’s Association visit

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