LOS LUNAS — The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting residents of Valencia County to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Los Lunas at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, at Riverside Park 1601 Main St. SE.

Each year, more than 600 Walk to End Alzheimer’s events take place in cities across the country, making it the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Outside of our state’s major hubs like Albuquerque, communities like the village of Los Lunas in Valencia County are now coming together and leading efforts to host their own community-run walks.  This will be a first for Valencia County.

On Walk day, participants honor those affected by Alzheimer’s with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony — a mission-focused experience that signifies our solidarity in the fight against the disease. The colors of the Promise Garden flowers represent people’s connection to Alzheimer’s — their personal reasons to end the disease.

While plans are moving forward to host the first inaugural Valencia County Walk in-person, the health and safety of participants, staff and volunteers remain the top priorities. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue to closely monitor CDC, state and local guidelines to ensure Walk events adhere to the latest recommendations.

“The Valencia County community has responded in a huge way,” says Ariel Langford, development manager of the Alzheimer’s Association NM Chapter. “I am meeting all kinds of wonderful motivated people who are getting involved with this cause through the Walk. We see families impacted by dementia and people who just want to help — all coming together for a cure. Each of them committed to ending this disease.”

“The funds that participants raise are critical to our mission to end Alzheimer’s and dementia, and we are humbled by the support,” says Tim Sheahan, executive director of Alzheimer’s Association, NM Chapter. “Those family members, neighbors and friends are counting on us to help find a breakthrough, and thanks to dedicated community members, we are able to fund cutting edge research that, hopefully, will do just that.”

More than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease — a leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 11 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

In New Mexico alone, there are more than 43,000 people living with the disease and 85,000 caregivers.

To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Valencia County Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Los Lunas, visit this website or contact Ariel Langford at aalangford@alz.org or 505-404-9851.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.