For the past several months, Jo Ann Hickman, Cendra Brown and a small army of volunteers have worked tirelessly on raising funds and making people aware about Bulloch County’s Ninth Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
As the clouds rolled in Saturday morning and some raindrops began to fall, Brown was afraid the crowd gathering at the Bulloch Academy track wouldn’t be able to actually walk due to deteriorating weather conditions.
But then, perhaps, Brown received a sign that the rains would hold off and would have little effect on the charity event so close to her heart.
“My grandfather had Alzheimer’s,” Brown said. “He was a retired minister and he died in 2007 from the disease and was such an inspiration to me. My husband came and got me and I looked up at the clouds and he said your grandfather is smiling down on you because I was so worried about the weather. I looked over the trees and there was a rainbow there and I just started crying.”
The rains did hold off long enough for the 500 plus people gathered to walk several laps around the BA track and then watch as Brown revealed the total raised so far this year. With five people holding cards with numbers, Brown called out a single volunteer’s name at a time until the total of $67,914 was uncovered.
“It may have been a little overcast, but we were determined we were going to walk for a cure,” said Brown, who is the "At Home" administrator for Willow Pond Senior Care in Statesboro. “Seeing so many people and the love in our community shows me once again that Statesboro is a wonderful community to come together to help fight this disease that is so cruel.”
Brown said the Walk had a goal of finding 29 volunteer walking teams this year, but they ended up with more than 40 teams. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a national event and the drive doesn’t end until Nov. 30. Bulloch County’s goal is $80,000 and teams have until that Nov. 30 date to reach and “hopefully exceed that total,” Brown said.
Donations are still being accepted and you can call Casey Corley at (706) 836-3461 if you would like to make a donation.
“There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s yet,” Brown said. “But I think if we continue doing what we’re doing, we’re going to find a cure one day.”