Moultrie Observer

Local News

October 6, 2007

Moultrie's first Memory Walk a success

MOULTRIE — Moultrie held its first Memory Walk Saturday, and donations from it were already setting new marks in Georgia.

Lona Ann Davis, operations director at Park Regency Assisted Living Center, said the event’s goal was to raise $7,000 to help Alzheimer’s disease victims and to raise awareness of the disease in Moultrie and Colquitt County. By Saturday morning, the event had already raised about $12,000, which is one of the best money-over-goal percentages ever in a group’s first year.

Organizer Lydia Tompkins said 125 people participated this year in 10 different teams.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association Web site, www.alz.org, Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that “destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life.” It is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., with more than 5 million people diagnosed, and there is currently no cure for the fatal disease.

Alzheimer’s is a growing disease throughout the country, and Tompkins said Park Regency is one of several assisted living centers here working to help those with the disease. Moultrie could have taken their walkers to Albany to be a part of the Memory Walk there, she said, but she wanted to hold it here and hopes it will become an annual event.

Prior to the walk around the Moultrie Technical College Veterans Parkway campus, Joan White, the ninth grade counselor at Colquitt County High School, shared her story about Alzheimer’s disease. Her husband, Rex, was diagnosed in 1994 and is currently at Park Regency going through the later stages of the disease.

White said Rex has lived an interesting life so far, beginning as a Boy Scout to become a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and serving two tours in Vietnam. The two met while he was working at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and she said she has grown closer to him through everything.

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