Hundreds walk to preserve memories for loved ones

It was hard to miss Kathi Jones and her merry band of 16 co-workers, family and friends Saturday morning at the 12th annual Olympic Peninsula Memory Walk at Silverdale’s Waterfront Park.

The Sept. 16 event raised more than $67,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

With their Life Care Center of Port Orchard team T-shirts and red, white and blue top hats taken from Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in a Hat” children’s book, the group was among the more than 150 participants gathered to raise money to support Alzheimer’s and other dementia disease research.

“We just wanted to do something to stand out and raise awareness for the Alzheimer’s association,” explained Jones, who is the admissions coordinator at the Port Orchard facility.

For the past eight years, Life Care Center of Port Orchard has sponsored a team to help raise money to benefit the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association, she said.

“We have residents who have Alzheimer’s and we see first-hand what Alzheimer’s can do,” she said.

Alzheimer’s can lead to other degenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, which has devastating effects of its own, she said.

“We all see what it can do and we’re trying to raise money to help find the cure,” Jones said.

Saturday’s event also brought North End lutefisk eating legend Eric Perkins to Silverdale, where he displayed his walking rather than his gastronomic prowess.

“I have family who have had Alzheimer’s and I know people with it,” Perkins said.

Those relationships are the forefront of Perkins’ third trek to Silverdale to participate in the event.

“It’s the just the number of people who have been coming to this event, and it’s a nice day to walk through Silverdale,” Perkins said.

Harrison Medical Center President Scott Bosch said the event is important because it focuses attention on a disease that currently has no cure.

“I believe it’s part of our mission to try to find the solution to many diseases including Alzheimer’s disease,” Bosch said.

The medical center is happy to be a partner in the walk and as one of the largest employers in the county, many of its employees have been affected in some way by the disease,” Bosch said.

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