The morning of Sunday, Jan. 29, was not a warm and sunny day, but that didn’t stop area residents of all ages from gathering at the Barriere Senior’s Hall to participate in the Investors Group Walk For Memories in support of the Alzheimer Society of BC. This was the sixth year for the Investor’s Group event, and also for Barriere’s participation in this worthwhile cause.
The annual Walk is probably the largest fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society, with raising awareness about this disease equally important in view of the increasing numbers within our aging society. Alzheimer’s is becoming more prevalent, and greater awareness assists patients and their families to deal more effectively with the disease.
Liz Gilbertson and her husband moved from Kamloops to Barriere five years ago. When she found out that her mother suffered from Alzheimer’s, Liz wanted to find more information about the disease to be able to help her mother. This then became the start of her becoming a dedicated volunteer for the Alzheimer Society in Kamloops, and after moving to Barriere, Liz said she just carried right on in her new community. Liz initiated the town’s first Walk for Memories in 2008 when there was only two participants and $60 in donations came in.
Liz says how amazed and pleased she is to discover how much the Walk For Memories has grown in Barriere over the space of six years, noting, “This community is wonderful; we had ninety-one participants this year. The age spread was from three years to 98 years, and this demonstrates the overall involvement of residents in our area; it shows we all can make a difference. Six years ago we raised $60, this year we already have $6,400, and the exact total will not be in until next month. We had so many great volunteers, without them we could not have done all we did, they are so very much appreciated.”
Investors Group representative, Caroline Knox, from the Kamloops office, was on site for this year’s Barriere Walk; bringing with her a donation from Investors Group, and speaking to the participants during the opening of the event.
“We are especially proud to partner with the Alzheimer Society of BC,” said the Investors Group rep, “Together we can help find the 70,000 people and their families around B.C. whose lives are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Investor’s Group is a very proud sponsor of the 2012 Walk for Memories – this is our sixth year and we are amazed to see how much the event has grown over that time.”
This year’s Barriere Walk was dedicated to the memory of Mac Livingstone, an area resident who fought the disease.
The seriousness of the cause for the Walk did not dampen the spirits of the participants; there was much laughter, groups of people were sitting together enjoying the tasty foods provided for lunch, and many took the time to visit with friends and meet new ones.
This reporter asked some of those participating what their impression of the event was, and those asked were in agreement when they stated, “It is great to see our community coming together for a worthy cause and it will be a Walk to remember.”