Few people haven’t been affected by Alzheimer’s in some way
By LOIS KINDLE
Grab your calendar, folks, to circle the dates for a series of events taking place between Sept. 21 and Oct. 11. All are public fundraisers for the 12th annual South Shore Walk to End Alzheimer’s disease, and they’re designed to support the cause in a fun way, said Connie Lesko, one of the events’ three organizers.
“I’m really excited to have Ashley Peterson (of Stedman Clinical Trials) and Steven Wilson (of OurCare Health of Sun City Center) on board this year,” she continued. “After 12 years, I think it’s time to add some fresh ideas from other committed, passionate people.”
The pre-walk events are sponsored by some of the teams participating in the Oct. 20 walk to increase their fundraising totals this year. Teams from Freedom Plaza and Aston Gardens have already raised thousands with their own, previously held fundraisers.
First up is a free, community concert at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center. Local artists Maureen Fitzgerald and Don Larson, aka the Easy Reflections, will present their smooth combination of vocals, strings and keyboards, as they perform recognizable pop, folk, gospel and country hits from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
The event will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at 1210 W. Del Webb Blvd. Love offerings will be accepted to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
A Market to Remember will follow on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the GFWC Ruskin Woman’s Club, 503 U.S. 41 S., Ruskin. It will feature the sale of all kinds of “pre-loved” women’s accessories, including handbags, jewelry, wraps and belts priced to move and vendors selling candles, photographs, clothing and other women’s items, Lesko said.
It will also have a bake sale and raffle of prizes donated by the vendors. Tickets are $2 apiece, three for $5 and 10 for $10. If you’d like to enter the raffle but can’t attend the market, call Kim Bauer at 813-344-9213.
Vendor applications, donations of ladies’ accessories or baked goods and offers to volunteer can be made by contacting her, as well.
Then on Oct. 4, Freedom Plaza will host Remember to Dance from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in its auditorium at 1010 American Eagle Blvd., Sun City Center. The free, public event will feature live music by Thor Stevens, an affordable cash bar and prize raffle for items like an iPad, Florida Orchestra tickets, jewelry, restaurant gift cards and wine and cheese baskets.
Be sure to wear purple because there will be a prize for the best-dressed male or female dancer donning that color.
To RSVP, call 813-633-4467.
The last event before the walk, Mystery at Little Harbor, will be Thursday, Oct. 11, at 536 Bahia Beach Blvd., Ruskin. This is set to start at 4:30 p.m. and end at 7:30. Come sleuth and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages, while uncovering the mystery’s plot. Raffle prizes will include a weekend getaway to the Resort & Club at Little Harbor and a getaway to Orlando. Admission is free.
“This is yet another opportunity to get involved by volunteering or registering a team,” Lesko said.
For more information, call Justin Rosales at 813-922-6167.
The big event
The 12th Aannual South Shore Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place Saturday, Oct. 20, starting at 9 a.m. at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, 1210 W. Del Webb Blvd. Registration for individual walkers and teams begins at 8, and if you’d like to just come and be part of the celebration, you’re welcome to do so, Lesko said.
The actual walk is a 2-mile loop that begins and ends at the church, and there’s a bus at the half-way point for anyone needing or wanting to return early. Awards will go to both the team and individual raising the most money.
“There has never been a greater need for residents to join in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease by participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Angela McAuley, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter. “Funds raised at the walk will help provide care and support services to residents in the area living with Alzheimer’s, while also contributing to advancing critically-needed research.
“Thanks to increased funding, scientists are now advancing basic disease knowledge, ways to reduce risk, new biomarkers for early diagnosis and drug targeting, and developing the needed treatments to move to clinical testing.”
For Lesko, it all comes down to one thing.
“As long as I draw a breath, I will participate in this cause,” she said. “Every year, I feel we get one step closer to finding a cure.”
For more information, call Lesko at 813-927-1147 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.