WEST ORANGE, NJ — Local dignitaries, including West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi, Township Council President Susan McCartney and Congressman Leonard Lance, will speak to participants of this weekend’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s event at West Orange’ s South Mountain Recreation Complex prior to cutting the ceremonial ribbon to start the annual walk.

The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting all Essex, Hudson and Union County residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s event on Saturday at the Clipper Pavilion, 9 Cherry Lane.

Participants will complete a two-mile walk and learn about Alzheimer's disease, advocacy opportunities, clinical studies enrollment and support programs and services from the Alzheimer’s Association. Walk participants will also honor those affected by Alzheimer's disease with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony.

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“As a volunteer and this year’s event chair, I am joining participants of all ages in the fight against the disease at Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Rita Whetton. “Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic. The disease is relentless; but here in New Jersey, so are we.”

More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only disease among the top 10 causes that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed. Additionally, more than 16 million family and friends provide care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the U.S. In New Jersey alone, there are more than 180,000 people living with the disease and 453,000 caregivers.

There is still time to register a team for the upcoming Essex County event. Sign up as a team captain, or register to walk as an individual. For those unable to join on event day, there are ways to participate and volunteer without even walking.

Learn more at alz.org/njwalk, or contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 973-437-3931.