Penticton volunteers needed for Walk for Alzheimer’s

A volunteer chair in Penticton is needed to assist organizing a local Alzheimer awareness fundraiser by mid-September.

Piper Geordie Young leads a group of about 70 people including (left to right) caregiver honorees Nicole Joostema

Piper Geordie Young leads a group of about 70 people including (left to right) caregiver honorees Nicole Joostema

A volunteer chair in Penticton is needed to assist organizing a local Alzheimer awareness fundraiser by mid-September.

The fun and family-friendly Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s is looking for a volunteer to chair the city’s 2017 Walk, which takes place on the first Sunday of May. The event is part of the country’s biggest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Other volunteer positions also need to be filled.

“The personal rewards are many.” said Marg Rodgers of her experience as a volunteer chair with the Kamloops event for more than a decade. “The best reward is to see residents of our community joining us on the day of the event to share that common cause. They have an opportunity to bring help and hope to those in our community facing dementia.”

It’s estimated that 70,000 British Columbians live with Alzheimer’s or another dementia and that number is expected to more than double in the next generation.

Laurie Myres, the support and education co-ordinator for the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. for Penticton and the South Okanagan and Similkameen region, said the walk plays an important role in helping local residents and caregivers whose lives have affected by dementia.

“People who volunteer can make a real difference in Penticton. It’s so satisfying for them to know that the funds raised here help support the programs and services of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. in our community.”

The 2016 Walk in Penticton raised $29,589.

Rodgers said next year’s walk needs a passionate and committed chair who will be responsible for leading a local committee of other volunteers. “There is no better feeling than sharing a common cause with a group of volunteers,” she said.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. provides in-depth training, resources and ongoing support, to ensure committee leaders have the best event experience possible.

“I always tell people who are interested in joining a walk committee that it’s like baking a cake,” Rodgers said. “You have a recipe to follow. Gather the needed ingredients together in the right order.  Mix in the proper order. Follow the method.  Bake at the right temperature for the right amount of time and you will have results. It is just that easy.”

Candidates for the chair position should have some organizational skills, live or work in Penticton, and be enthusiastic, driven and community-minded. Other volunteers may also be needed to serve on the walk committee.

If you are interested, or would like more information, contact Melanie Munroe at mmunroe@alzheimerbc.org or 604-742-4915.

The Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s runs nationally each year and is Canada’s biggest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

For more information on local resources that can help you live well with dementia, visit www.alzheimerbc.org.