The Alzheimer's Assn. of Ventura County will host its sixth annual Memory Walk and Fun Run on Sept. 27, in an effort to support the families of local patients.
"It's a fun way for families to get out and raise awareness, but it is also designed to help raise money so that we can continue to provide services," said Sue Tatangelo, executive director of the Alzheimer's Assn. of Ventura County.
Organizers are hoping to register 500 people to walk a combined 2,500 miles and raise $35,000 at this year's event, which will be held at San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura.
The money will be used to fund programs and services that the Oxnard-based association provides to caregivers and families of Alzheimer's patients. The services include a help line, a speaker's bureau, 15 support groups countywide, and a safe-return program.
Patients registered in the national program are given identification bracelets and are placed on a list that is provided to law enforcement agencies. Tatangelo estimated that there are 16,000 people in Ventura County who have been afflicted by Alzheimer's disease or some form of dementia.
"It's a disease which also afflicts the patient's family, given that it takes between two to five people to care for someone with Alzheimer's," Tatangelo said.
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain that can take from two to 20 years to claim a patient's life, she said.
Registration for the five-mile course is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 27.
Cost of participation in the fund-raising event is $20 and will include a barbecue, T-shirt and massage. For information on the Memory Walk and Fun Run, call the Ventura County Alzheimer's Assn. at 485-5597.