PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – It was a sea of purple Saturday morning at Roger Williams Park in Providence, for the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
WPRI-12 and Fox Providence are proud sponsors of the walk. Eyewitness News Anchor Mike Montecalvo was back for another year as the walk’s emcee.
“Make them feel loved, that it’s not their fault, and we will be there for them,” said Montecalvo during opening statements.
The 3.5 mile walk kicked off at 10 a.m. with over 3,000 participants, all walking with colored flowers to “represent our different reasons for being here today,” said Montecalvo.
The annual walk aims to raise funds for awareness and further research of Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disease which currently has no cure. There are 23,000 Rhode Islanders, age 65 and older, who are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Hopefully we can get more funding for research,” said East Providence resident Mark Messier, who added Saturday was his first walk without his mother, who suffers from the disease. “In and out, she will recognize you or not recognize you, and it’s great when she can recognize you. Otherwise, it’s kind of tough.”
Nearly $223,000 had already been raised by participants prior to Saturday’s walk. The Providence walk is just one of more than 600 walks for Alzheimer’s disease happening nationwide.