More than 2,500 Chicagoland residents participated in the Chicago Walk to End Alzheimer’s event on Saturday, October 8, 2022. The event raised more than $1 million to accelerate global research, increase early detection and maximize quality care and support for those living with Alzheimer’s.
Despite the chilly Chicago weather, participants dressed in purple attire and gathered at Solider Field starting at 8am. At 8:30am, performers from the Multi-cultural Dance School provided entertainment and built the energy for the day’s event, followed by an exhilarating performance from the Yin He Dance Group. The morning continued with a warm-up led by two fitness instructors, followed by the poignant Promise Garden ceremony, a mission-focused experience signifying solidarity in the fight against the disease.
At 10 am, bagpipers kicked off the 3-mile walk. Participants journeyed around Lake Michigan and back through Museum Campus before venturing through the Soldier Field Concourse and a cheer brigade. A shorter route was available for those who needed an alternative path.
While the walk was at the morning’s center, there were plenty of festivities to engage participants and their families as well. Children enjoyed activities in the Fun Zone, like coloring, crafts, lawn games and a balloon artist. There was also a Caregivers Recharge Tent with complimentary massages generously donated by The NOW Massage Boutique.
Throughout the morning, individuals at the Chicago Walk heard from Dr. Lisa Barnes and Dr. Rupal Mehta from Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center to learn about the effects of Alzheimer’s. There was also a touching speech from a gentleman with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease who shared his personal story alongside the support of his entire family on stage.
Chicago Walk to End Alzheimer’s event welcomed Alan Krashesky from ABC7 as the emcee. ABC7 also conducted live interviews throughout the morning, while Drive and Univision broadcasted the event. The event was also honored to host three TikTok influencers who promoted and attended the walk: Joey Thurston, Caitlin Hendricks and Mary + Kris.
Sponsors of the Chicago Walk to End Alzheimer’s include: BankersLife, Dentons, RUSH, Make It Better Media Group, The Clare, SEIU HCII, BDO USA, LLP, CRG, DLA Piper, Grant Thornton LLP, The Hogerty Family, The Jachino Family, Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Villa, Northwestern Medicine, Greenberg Traurig and Direct Supply.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, with more than 230,000 living in Illinois alone.
Learn more about their mission and outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association website.
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Jessica Braun Gervais is a Chicago-based freelance writer specializing in health, wellness, and fitness. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from Columbia College and has written content for various health and wellness institutions. Jessica Braun’s passion for wellness comes from her life as an elite athlete competing in Muay Thai kickboxing competitions across the country. In addition to sharing her expertise through writing, Jessica Braun also works as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. When she’s not writing or training, Jessica Braun enjoys reading historical fiction novels, discovering new coffee shops, and cuddling with her cattle dog, Brady.