Members of the McNally family

Members of the McNally family

Penticton fundraiser pulls in nearly $25,000

Investors Group Walk for Memories collected pledges to support Alzheimer Society of BC

With honouree Betty McNally and family in the lead, about 100 people began the annual Investors Group Walk for Memories Sunday morning at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre.

According to support and education co-ordinator Laurie Myres of the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Society of BC, the final figure in pledges was just under $25,000.

“We are very happy with that amount, it is higher than last year when we brought in just under $20,000,” said Myres. “But it is also sad in a way because I think this amount kind of proves the disease is becoming more prevalent in our aging society and more and more people are being impacted by it.”

At the walk, Betty McNally, 81, who has early-stage Alzheimer’s, was very appreciative of the many people she recognized who had come out in support of the cause. She was also a little disappointed the bagpiper who was supposed to lead the walk was late in arriving.

“I guess that’s alright though because I forgot my cane at home and I was going to use that to lift his kilt as I walked by,” she said with her usual candour and wink of an eye. “Seriously, this is wonderful to see and it means a lot.”

One of those who took part in the walk was Jackie Kuzemchuk who was there in support of her friend Betty and her brother-in-law Réal.

“I’ve known Betty for about 10 years and she’s a real nice lady,” said Kuzemchuk. “My brother-in-law has had Alzheimer’s for about four years and he is now in a home. It is so hard on the family.

“So this is very important for me to be here. I wouldn’t miss it,” she continued.

The largest individual contribution for the day again this year was by 97-year-old Margaret McLennan who got over $2,400 in pledges.

As well, Myres credited the efforts of chairman Judi Feather and her committee who organized the event.