(Featured photo is from the opening ceremony of the November 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Miss Augusta 2022 is holding an orange flower and wearing her Miss Augusta crown and sash)
Before the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in 2022, the Promise Garden ceremony brought tears to Quinn Shelt’s eyes.
“There are four different flowers that are given out to those who attend,” said Shelt, a former Miss Augusta, who became involved with the Alzheimer’s Association during her reign.
She’s the event experience chairperson for the 2023 walk, which is scheduled for Sept. 30 at the Evans Towne Center Park. People will start arriving at 9 a.m. and the Promise Garden ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.
Shelt’s flower is orange indicating that she’s a supporter; a purple flower indicates someone who has lost a loved one to the disease; a blue flower is for someone living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and a yellow flower is for a caregiver.
Then, there’s the single white flower — the one symbolizing the day that there will be a survivor of the degenerative disease for which there is currently no cure.
“We’re looking for that first survivor,” she said.
Shelt said they expect 300-400 participants in this year’s event, and people can sign up to walk on the day of the event. As of Sept. 23, 69 teams have signed up.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s will open with some fun activities including a dog costume contest with prizes for the best dressed pooch. After the ceremonies, there will be a walk of about a mile.
People are encouraged to wear purple — the color for Alzheimer’s.
The goal for this year’s walk is $67,000 and as of Sept. 23, more than $44,000 had been raised.
“We hope to hit 75% by the walk,” she said, adding that donations will be accepted until Dec. 31.
Shelt is one of several individuals who have worked to put the walk together, she said. Not only is Shelt a member of the local chapter’s board of directors, she was recently asked to be part of the Community Leaders Summit Advisory Council for the 2024 Alzheimer’s Association Community Leaders Summit.
“I’m really excited,” said Shelt, who believes she can bridge the generation gap and bring in more younger people to support the organization’s work.
Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at email@example.com. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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