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The 20th annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s brings together more than 1,000 participants. Photo courtesy Alz Norcal/Nora Halloran

   Participants, sponsors, event organizers and volunteers came together on Oct. 7 for the 20th annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Sonoma State University. The event  included a morning walk around the Rohnert Park campus, inspiring speeches, entertainment throughout the trek and refreshments.  

   Heather Harris, director of wellness and enrichment at The Tamalpais Marin in Greenbrae, a top sponsor, led participants in pre-walk warm-up exercises, followed by a poignant flower ceremony.

   During the Promise Flower Ceremony, walk participants held up flowers, the colors of which represented their connection to the disease: blue for those living with Alzheimer’s; yellow for caregivers or care partners providing care and support to those living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia; purple for those who have lost loved ones and friends to the disease; and orange for supporters of ongoing efforts to further research into a cure and treatment.

    The event tallied more than 1,000 participants and topped its goal of raising $435,000. Funds raised will support the association’s North Bay offices that are hubs for information, care and support services for those facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia and their families. 

   This year’s event was staged by dozens of dedicated volunteers, among them a hard-working team from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Two Rock Valley Training Center and Marin’s National Charity League. In addition, state Assemblymember Damon Connolly, D-San Rafael, attended in support of the walk.

   Besides the event at Sonoma State, smaller groups of families and friends held their own walks, among them one in Fairfax and another in Tiburon.

   For more information, visit alz/org.walk.

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