BRATTLEBORO -- About 70 people came out Saturday morning to take part in the Walk to End Alzheimer's and support Alzheimer's research, raising more than $10,000.
The annual walk, which starts at the Brattleboro Retreat and goes through town, is part of a nationwide event where supporters all over the country walk to spread awareness of Alzheimer's Disease and help raise money.
"We have these walks to increase awareness about the disease and it's also a fundraiser," said Maggie Lewis, director of programs and services with the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. "And with that awareness you have more people to advocate for research to be done for the disease so we can stop it."
The Brattleboro office of the Vermont chapter of the Alzheimer's Association offers programs throughout the year and has a 24-hour help line.
There is also a local support group and the statewide Vermont chapter schedules conferences and informational and support programs.
Lewis also said the annual event helps bring people out from around the region who are struggling with Alzheimer's, who are caring for someone with the disease.
The walk, she said, helps people make connections.
"This event let's people know about the services we have to offer," Lewis said. "And it is a good networking opportunity for people to find out what other resources are available to them, in the state, for care giving and support.
A portion of the money that was raised in Brattleboro Saturday goes to the national Alzheimer's Association and some stays in the state to support work in Vermont.
The Gathering Place in Brattleboro raised a little more than $2,700.
Melody Squires, who has cerebral palsy and spends time at The Gathering Place, raised the most money for Saturday's walk -- $1,265.
Tara Cheney, activities coordinator at The Gathering Place, said the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's is an important event for the organization.
The Gathering Place is an adult day center that offers programs for seniors and for people with disabilities.
"It's wonderful to come out and be able to try to make a difference in the community and be able to make a difference for this fight," Cheney said. "This is personal for the Gathering Place to part of this walk."
The Gathering Place has a monthly support group for people and families who are dealing with Alzheimer's and Cheney said the organization works with people with Alzheimer's everyday.
"We serve people with Alzheimer's and with various forms of dementia," Cheney said. "We deal with this every day."
"We're going to do it again next year. We've got to keep going," Lewis said. "It gets bigger every year."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.