By Louise Scott, Gary Crusader
Many elected officials have been called upon to support the Bike Ride and Walk to Remember Community Awareness Event, which spotlights a cure and end to Alzheimer’s – Dementia Disease. It will be held Saturday, August 6 in the stage area of Carmella’s On the Beach (Marquette Park) beginning with registration at 7:30 a.m. and starting at 8:30 a.m.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. It is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s.
The Greater Indiana Chapter serves 73 counties and assists individuals and families living with dementia through disease education, care and support.
Will Smith, the event chairman, says he has been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association since 2009. He has had an opportunity to be appointed as the Ambassador representing the First Congressional District under Congressman Peter Visclosky’s Office. He said, “With that as a former caregiver for members of my family I got involved with the Association.”
Smith said the purpose of the event is to be a part of raising the awareness of the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia disease. He said, “This is not a fundraiser, but just to raise awareness of the disease and finding a cure to end it. It’s really the first of its kind with a bike ride and walk in the country and first of its kind being sponsored by the city.”
Co-chair along with Smith is 5th District City Councilwoman Linda Barnes-Caldwell. Those who are members of the Planning Committee include Lake County Clerk Mike Brown, Lake County Assessor Jerome Prince and Lake County Surveyor Bill Emerson.
The Gary Policemen and Gary Firemen will be sponsoring a Cook-Off of Bar-b-Que As a Best Tasting Contest. The cost is $5 to taste from both the Policemen and the Firemen. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Those interesting in participating in the bike ride and walk will pay $5. All bike riders must have helmets to participate.