September 11, 2023
On September 10, 2022, Kendal at Ithaca hosted on their campus the Ithaca- Cortland, New York, Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The day was clear and warm, perfect for navigating the two-mile course. 300 participants traveled in baby
buggies, by foot, by paw, with walkers and canes and completely solo.
The symbolic flowers waved in the breeze: orange for supporters and advocates for a world without Alzheimer’s; purple for people who have lost someone to the disease; blue for those who are currently living with Alzheimer’s; and yellow
for individuals caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
Resident volunteers and staff from Kendal at Ithaca were instrumental in supporting the event. Their efforts included helping at the registration desk, acting as walk guides along the route, cheering on the participants with signs
and enthusiasm, stepping up as Promise Garden organizers and parking lot guides, as well as providing roaming support and water from the hydration stations.
In addition to supporting the event, staff and residents of Kendal at Ithaca held other events to raise funds for the Kendal team leading up to the walk day. For example, staff could donate and receive a ticket for a “dress down”
day. Their donations purchased purple ribbons and made a flower garden display possible.
Additional participants included staff and residents from other local older adult communities, assisted living residences and skilled nursing centers. Their buses and vans decorated the parking lot and declared their support in
a very visible way. Participation among these groups was greater than in the past as Kendal at Ithaca is increasingly
considered a welcoming place to work and reside, evident through the inclusive
atmosphere and accessibility for residents using walkers and wheelchairs.
Ithaca College students in attendance at the walk represented the gerontology and physician assistant program. In addition, students from The State University of New York at Cortland Alpha Phi Fraternity were there in force.
Many area businesses provided sponsorships, and local law enforcement provided security. The event was exceedingly successful, as over 100% of the fundraising goal was met. In all, 400 participants raised $65,000 to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Kendal at Ithaca was proud to welcome all the participants and volunteers to the community.
It inspired many to see the delight on the faces of residents impacted by Alzheimer’s watching the walkers passing by and greeting them with a wave of their flowers.