The Alzheimer’s Association invites Winona area residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in its Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 1, 2022, at Lake Park at the Bandshell, located at 113 West Lake Park Drive, Winona. Check-in is at 9 a.m., with the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. and the walk to follow. Participants are encouraged to register early and fundraise to help the Alzheimer’s Association reach its $61,000 goal. Registration is free and open to everyone. 

Contributions raised at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s fund the Association’s care and support programs in the Winona area, advocacy efforts for families impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia, and advance research around the globe.  

Dustin Bolduan is a member of the volunteer walk committee that organizes the event. The cause is personal as his grandmother passed away this year due to Alzheimer’s. His mother is also living with the disease and was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2018. “My hope is that other families, who may not be aware of or be affected by Alzheimer’s, will support our pursuit for a cure so that no other family goes through what we have now been affected by, twice.”

On the day of the walk, participants honor those affected by Alzheimer’s with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony — each person carries a flower in solidarity in the fight against the disease. The color of each flower represents people’s connection to Alzheimer’s, their personal reasons to end the disease. The white flower is a hopeful symbol for Alzheimer's First Survivor. 

Dustin’s walk team is called "The Bolduan Forget-Me-Nots.” They have been walking as a team for over a decade. He said, “Coming together as a community is always something to be proud of and support. It's the community that keeps me going back each year, and it's also the hope. Going to the walk restores that hope that we are not alone and we are supporting each other.”

Six million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease — a leading cause of death in the United States. In Minnesota, more than 99,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. They are supported by 171,000 unpaid caregivers.