SOLOMONS, Md. — Southern Maryland residents are reuniting in person after two years for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, September 17 at Asbury Solomons. Held at the community for more than 20 years, the Walk was transitioned to a “walk at home” event during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, more than 50 teams have registered to gather at the senior living community, which is once again welcoming participants to its beautiful location on the shore of the Patuxent River.
“It’s an incredible and humbling opportunity to make a difference and to do all the good we can,” said Dennis Poremski, the Director of Wellness at Asbury Solomons. “Asbury Solomons is honored to partner with the Alzheimer’s Association to share our beautiful campus, and to engage the community in this annual event that brings so many people together in our common cause.”
Among the familiar faces returning to this year’s Walk are Team Care Blairs, comprised of sisters Betsy Blair, Susan Dudley, Terrie Harney, and their mother Marian Blair.
They have participated in the Walk since 2003 in honor of father and husband Matt Blair, who lost his battle with Alzheimer’s in 2011.
“I walk for my Dad. I miss him every day,” said team captain Betsy Blair. “I walk to honor him and to bring attention to this disease and hopefully diminish the toll it may take on future generations.”
The family is passionate about raising funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. They are known throughout the community for their Forget-Me-Not Brunch, an annual fundraiser held pre-pandemic at the Olde Breton Inn. They have been top fundraisers each year, and currently are the top team for this year’s Walk.
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
The event features a poignant Promise Garden ceremony — a mission-focused experience that signifies the solidarity of the Walk participants in the fight against the disease. The colors of the Promise Garden flowers represent people’s personal connection to Alzheimer’s:
- Blue: Someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
- Purple: An individual who has lost someone to the disease.
- Yellow: A person who is currently supporting or caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s.
- Orange: A participant who supports the cause and the Association’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
While plans are moving forward to host the Walk in-person, the health and safety of participants, staff and volunteers remain the top priorities. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue to closely monitor CDC, state and local guidelines to ensure Walk events adhere to the latest recommendations.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 110,000 in Maryland.
More 242,000 Marylanders are among the 11 million Americans who provide unpaid care to someone living with Alzheimer’s. The estimated value of that unpaid care nationwide is valued at $271.6 billion dollars.
“There has never been a greater need for the community to join in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease by participating in Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Kate Rooper, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter. “Funds raised through the Walk will provide information, education and support to people living with Alzheimer’s and their families and caregivers, while also contributing to advancing critically-needed research.”
Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the Walk.