KENT – Bees, dogs and summer sunshine welcomed more than 400 participants Saturday to Kent for an annual tradition – Putnam County’s annual Memory Walk to End Alzheimer’s that raised funds for Alzheimer’s research.
For the third year in succession, the walk’s new venue, the upper Putnam Veteran’s Memorial Park, was crowded with people of all ages including several four legged family members who participated in the two-mile walk.
Over the years the gathering has grown as the incidence of the memory-robbing illness has affected more and more Putnam families.
County walk coordinator Denise Kuhbier of Mahopac called the disease a “growing epidemic that is now the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.”
She estimated that someone in America develops Alzheimer’s every 70 seconds and by 2050, the incidence will increase to every 35 seconds. “Currently there are more than five million people in the United States with Alzheimer’s, 400,000 alone in New York State – a number that will increase to 16 million in the next three decades if we don’t find a way to treat this disease.”
n the area served by the Hudson Valley chapter, 40,000 men and women are affected by Alzheimer’s with more than half of those residing in Putnam and Westchester. The Hudson Valley chapter also encompasses Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties.
Money raised at the Putnam County walk goes towards research to find a cure. Officials said $475 million had been raised nationally since 1982. Putnam’s goal this year is $100,000 with donations being accepted until December 31.
Donations can be made online at www.ALZ.org