San Luis Obispo County residents gathered at Mission Plaza on Saturday morning to take part in the Walk to End Alzheimer's event.
Put on by the Alzheimer's Association, the walk honors those affected by Alzheimer's and signifies participant's solidarity in the fight against the disease.
According to the organization, this year's San Luis Obispo Walk to End Alzheimer's Committee is made up of local professionals, students, and community members who have joined together in a collaborative effort. The women of the Sigma Kappa sorority at Cal Poly were an integral part of the fundraiser as well, raising money for the Alzheimer's Association through various philanthropic efforts.
"As a female chapter at Cal Poly, we know that Alzheimer's disproportionately affects women and so that's why as a chapter we're passionate about helping this association," said the sorority's Vice President of Philanthropic Services Phoebe Walsh.
The event began at 9 a.m., also incorporating the organization's Promise Garden. The colors of the Promise Garden flowers are meant to represent people's connection to the disease, and their personal reasons for fighting against it.
Support for the local Walk to End Alzheimer's event could be seen throughout the county, particularly at one Grocery Outlet in Atascadero. One of its employees, Ryan Pierce, rode a stationary bike at the store's entrance for 8 hours on Saturday to raise money for the county's Alzheimer's walk. Pierce accepted donations, riding in support of his father who suffers from the disease.
"First people are interested, they're like 'What's going on?' and then once I explain how this nasty disease has hit me personally then they're taking that into account," said Pierce.
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. To register for an upcoming walk and learn more about sponsorships, visit alz.org/walk.