LAFAYETTE — More than 360 area residents participated in this year’s Greater Lafayette Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Sept. 26. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants walked as individuals and small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across the Greater Lafayette area, raising $51,603.

“Between the economic situation and the fact that so many families are stretched thin as a result of the pandemic, we recognize that this is a difficult year for fundraising,” said Natalie Sutton, executive director, Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter. “That’s why we’re so proud of the fact that local sponsors, teams and individuals continued to step up even in the face of that adversity. It shows how invested Greater Lafayette residents are in our mission, and we are grateful to each and every one of them.”

The money raised through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s funds local education programs and caregiver support groups, as well as the 24/7 Helpline, which is staffed by licensed social workers who provide around-the-clock support to those who need it. It also funds research into new ways of treating and preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“It isn’t too late to make a difference in the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia,” said Anne Murray, Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter director of development. “Fundraising will continue through the end of the year, and every dollar really does count. Just $25 funds a Helpline call, so if five people donate just $5 each, that is enough to help a family in crisis.”

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In Indiana alone, there are more than 110,000 people living with the disease and 342,000 caregivers.