By Elizabeth Oakes
Hundreds of purple balloons from the 2010 Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk filled the sky on the morning of Oct. 2, representing a portion of the millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Participants gathered at Pringles Park to walk around the baseball field, showing their support for finding a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The walk ended with the release of purple balloons whenever a statement was read that described a person’s connection with the disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association works every year to raise money to help stop the disease. This year’s walk raised more than $25,000, including donations from Union students and faculty who are affected by the disease in some way.
Lisa Bobal, Alzheimer’s Association employee, encouraged the participants to complete at least four laps if possible.
“Most people are aware of physical activity’s ability to prevent obesity, but many don’t realize that research also supports the concept of physical activity inhibiting the progression of Alzheimer’s,” Bobal said.
Julie Powell, associate professor of sport management, physical education, wellness and sport, led a team of Union students in the walk, since her grandmother was recently diagnosed with the disease. Powell continued walking even after many participants quit.
“If forming a memory walk team for the Physical Education, Wellness and Sport Department at Union can bring awareness of the disease, encourage people to get moving and assist in preventing other diseases related to sedentary lifestyles, then one aspect of our department’s mission is being accomplished,” Powell said.