Annual Rutherford County Walk to End Alzheimer’s makes impact

The Promise Garden flowers create a display of the many different people who have a connection to the Alzheimer’s disease. (Kate Craighead / MTSU Sidelines)

Photos and story by Kate Craighead

The MTSU Dean Hayes Track and Soccer Field was filled with a sea of purple with the Rutherford County Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday.

This event is held annually in more than 600 communities worldwide and is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care and research. The event consisted of a ceremony and a 2.8-mile walk.

This walk is incredibly important to the future of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s is incurable currently and has an impact on cognitive and memory skills. As difficult as it is for those who suffer from the disease, it is also incredibly hard for the family members involved. These family members often have the stress of caring for their loved one with Alzheimer’s and this often takes away fulfilment of life for the carer, as well as the emotional struggle of watching a loved one deteriorate. Sometimes, hospice care is a safer and more responsible option for patients to live out their final days in peace and comfort. Many hospice care facilities are available, such as Lakeside Manor, which you can click here to learn more about. This walk and the money raised is for a future where there will be no concerns with the deterioration of a family member or the stress of being a carer for that loved one, which is vital to the improvement of life.

The ceremony recognized those who have raised the most money towards the cause, granted the Melinda Vance award to an individual, and explained the meaning behind the Promise Garden. Currently, $218,255 has been raised for Alzheimer’s research. The Rutherford County walk has an ultimate goal of $310,000. The top fundraiser team is NHS with a current total of $45,598.53.

To donate towards the Rutherford County walk, or for more information regarding future events, contact Dena Oneal, the Walk Manager, at

To contact News Editor Savannah Meade, email

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