A sea of purple-clad people filled Eureka’s Adorni Center and Halverson Park today for the Humboldt County Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This was part of the annual event organized by the Alzheimer’s Association, involving 600 communities nation-wide walking to raise awareness and money for research of the progressive disease.
“Anything we can do to provide the cure for this disease would be wonderful,” said Bob Durfee to the crowd during today’s opening ceremony.
Durfee was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a little over a year ago
and said that part of what helps him live with his disease is being actively involved in the organization and events like this. The crowd honored Durfee with a standing ovation.
Following the ceremony, the crowd took to the waterfront for a walk in support of their cause. The Marching Lumberjacks of HSU provided music to keep spirits high.
Among supporters were Eureka City Councilmembers Natalie Arroyo and Kim Bergel. Both Bergel’s grandfather and uncle suffered from Alzheimer’s and she held an orange flower to show how the disease had impacted her family.
Many members of the crowd held fabric flowers of orange, yellow, blue and purple. Each color represented a different way that individual was affected by Alzheimer’s.
During the ceremony, planning committee chair Joanne Conzelmann said that someday she hope’s we will be able to add another color to the bunch. A girl then held up white flower, which Conzelmann said will represent the first person who is cured of the disease.