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Each fall, the Alzheimer’s Association holds its largest fundraising event: the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.” This year, there are four walks in Rhode Island, and I will be participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 14 at Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly. I will be bringing a team of family, friends and colleagues, and I look forward to this event because it’s a day filled with fun and comradery, as well as reflection and hope, and all for a good cause: to raise much-needed funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

As with so many of us, I have witnessed loved ones whose lives were severely affected by this terrible disease. Both of my grandmothers have passed away with Alzheimer’s. According to recent figures, there are more than 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including over 23,000 here in Rhode Island. The money raised from these walks helps with research and allows the Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter to provide free services for those living with the disease as well as their family members and caregivers.

I urge people of all ages to participate in the Westerly Walk in September, or in one of the other walks being held in Newport, Block Island, and Providence. Anyone can join a team or register to walk as an individual at

Kristen Gencarelli


The writer is the chairwoman of the Westerly Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

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