ALLEGANY, NY – Two passionate community leaders are co-chairing the Sept. 26 Southern Tier Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Ann Hurlburt, retired administrative assistant to the vice provost for student life at St. Bonaventure University, and Kathy Bower, activities director at Houghton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, are working in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter to organize the Walk.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for care and support for all impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and research to find ways to prevent, treat and end the disease.

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The walk will bring to the Village of Allegany more than 500 people who have been touched in some way by dementia.

Hurlburt, a resident of Hinsdale, joined the committee when it returned to the Southern Tier after a brief hiatus as a way to honor her mother, Dorothy Mooney, who passed away after a six-year struggle with Alzheimer’s.

“It has been so rewarding to serve on this committee,” Hurlburt said. “Not only does my family participate, including helping with set up and tear down, but we’ve met so many warm and generous people, and I am looking forward to working alongside Kathy. She has been an inspiration to all of us!”

Bower, a resident of Fillmore, got involved with the event about five years ago when it returned to the region.

“It is my dream to see the first survivor of Alzheimer’s within my lifetime,” said Bower. “I am honored to serve on this committee and incredibly excited to see our Walk grow this year.”

In 2019, the Southern Tier Walk raised more than $58,000. Corporate sponsorship and peer-to-peer fundraising for the walk fund the chapter’s local outreach, which includes free education and supportive services, as well as critical research.

Individual, family and friend and corporate teams raise funds for the walk by collecting donations and through other means-- including yard sales, raffles, dress down days and the sales of various purple items such as bracelets and paper flowers.

Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter Executive Director Jill Horner said she welcomes both women to the walk leadership group.

“I am delighted that Kathy and Ann have accepted these critical leadership roles to support families in the Southern Tier and across Western New York,” Horner said. “Their determination and commitment strengthens our fight for the first survivor of Alzheimer’s.”

Other Walks this year are set for Buffalo on Sept. 12; Orleans County on Sept. 26; Genesee/Wyoming counties and Niagara County on Oct. 3, and Chautauqua County on Oct. 10. All walk locations are recruiting volunteers to serve on organizing committees. Roles include marketing, recruitment, sponsorship and logistics.

To volunteer, call the WNY Chapter office at (716) 626-0600. To learn more about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and to start a fundraising team, visit alz.org/Walk.

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