The Walk spotlights the disease that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed and raises funds to advance Alzheimer's research

Seventy teams and over 400 people are gearing up for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Canandaigua. As the fight is ongoing against this illness that affects most every family, so is recruitment for the walk this Saturday.

The fundraising goal is $87,000. Pledges have passed the halfway mark, and organizers hope to generate the remaining dollars in the next few days.

There is still time to participate on a team, walk and pledge. The Walk spotlights the disease that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed and raises funds to advance Alzheimer’s research.

Rita Fullerton of Clifton Springs will participate in honor of her grandmother, mother, aunt and uncle. The owner of Mangiamo Catering, Fullerton spent her childhood learning how to cook from her grandmother Vincenzia, who died of Alzheimer’s. Fullerton’s daughters Aleena and Olivia didn’t get to spend much time with their grandmother Carrie because she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when the two girls were very young. For several weeks leading up to the Walk, Fullerton and her daughters have held fundraising events to call attention to the impact Alzheimer’s and other dementias have on families in America.

Fullerton hopes the funds raised at Walk will fuel critical research to find a cure.

“I'm walking to help reclaim the future for my children,” stated Fullerton.

Mary Dain of Pittsford will travel to Canandaigua from Florida. The Finger Lakes Walk has a special meaning for Dain and her family. She first met her husband David Herry in the 1970s, when they both were teaching in Canandaigua. The couple currently live in Central Florida, as Alzheimer’s made it difficult for David to travel back to New York. Nevertheless, Dain feels that she can best honor her husband in Canandaigua, where he spent his entire teaching career.

“Alzheimer’s keeps taking more of the person with the disease and takes over the life of the caregiver,” stated Dain. She participates in the Walk to turn the spotlight on more than 16 million Americans providing unpaid care to the loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. This Saturday at Granger Homestead, Dain, who is a board member of the Alzheimer’s Association, Rochester and Finger Lakes Region, will be joined by children, grandchildren and friends.

Participants of the 3-mile walk taking place at Granger Homestead will learn about Alzheimer’s and other dementias, advocacy, clinical studies enrollment, and support programs and services from the Alzheimer’s Association. The event will honor those affected by Alzheimer’s or another dementia with the Promise Garden ceremony. The ceremony will be emceed by Norma Holland, anchor and host at 13WHAM News. Holland, a longtime supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association, will take the stage to honor the memory of her father-in-law Chuck Mann, who died of Alzheimer’s earlier this year.

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. Walk participants can join a team or register to walk at alz.org/walk.