History of Walking to Remember
With $4,000 in sponsorship money and a piano donated by Forbes up for raffle, our first Walking to Remember took place at Eastwood Mall on August 19, 1995. Nearly 200 walkers participated and $16,000 was raised. Our board of directors agreed to make it an annual event.
The second Walk got off to an even better start with $11,000 in sponsorship money. Three hundred walkers and supporters participated and the number of sponsors doubled from the previous year. Secretary of State Jim Bennett was on hand to offer words of encouragement. The team from Northport Health Services raised the most money this year. The total raised for our second year was $32,000 – am impressive jump from year one!
Year three was the last year to hold the walk at Eastwood Mall and was another successful event. Mother and daughter team Judy Rainwater and Kelly Seewald raised the most money this year – they were 2nd place the year before.
In 1999, for our fifth year, the Walk was moved to the Riverchase Galleria, which allowed us to reach an even larger audience. Based on this move our board of directors raised the budgeted goal to $40,000. The move to the Galleria proved to be a wise choice as $68,000 was raised for programs and services. A drawing for a vacation package including airfare from SouthWest airlines was part of the fun. We remain grateful to the Riverchase Galleria for their ongoing support.
In 2000 our seventh annual Walk was moved from August to November to tie the walk with other ACA activities planned during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. This year’s special guest was Miss Alabama, Jana Sanderson, who sang the National Anthem. This began the tradition of having Miss Alabama sing at each Walk. Many participants of the Walk have told us that the singing of the National Anthem coupled with a moment of silence honoring our loved ones lost to or living with Alzheimer’s disease is a very moving and meaningful part of the Walk.
In 2001 the Walk, along with many events in our nation was shaken by the events of 911, but as Americans we pulled ourselves up and all Walks since that time have been successful. We have added local high school jazz bands to entertain and each year we have dozens of Krispy Kreme doughnuts for walkers to enjoy. The doughnuts are a must, we have been told!
More recently the Walk has brought in over $140,000 on a given year. This is all very important because of this fact: for our first walk we asked people to Walk for the 52,000 Alabamians with Alzheimer’s disease – this year you are walking for the more than 93,000 Alabamians with this disease. Alzheimer’s is not someone else’s story anymore!
Find out about the latest Walking to Remember here.