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Organizers with Walk to End Alzheimer’s push to raise $240,000 for research of disease

Hundreds throughout Santa Barbara joined a nationwide effort to help end Alzheimer’s in Saturday’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The walk to end Alzheimer’s is held every year in more than 600 communities nationwide.

Here in Santa Barbara, Gabriella Garcia was one of hundreds of participants to join the fight against the disease.

“We’ve been doing the walk for about 12 years. So it’s very special and close to my heart as well as the cause,” Garcia said.

Garcia, who lost her grandfather from Alzheimer’s disease said participating in the walk is her way to honor and remember him.

It’s great to have all the community support and to create a support system for the families who are struggling,” Garcia said.

Organizers of the walk were pleased with this year’s turnout.

“This is the largest walk in the country, and we all come together for one reason. That is a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s,” said walk chair Rhonda Henderson with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Everyone who came out for the walk carried a flower representing how they’ve been touched by the disease in some way.

“When you see someone with a purple flower, that is someone honoring someone who passed away with the disease. When you see a yellow one, that is a caregiver who is caring for someone with the disease,” Henderson said.

Last year, the goal was to raise at least $200,000 from the walk. This year, organizers are hoping to exceed that goal.

“This year, our goal is to raise $240,000. Right now, we’re about 50 percent of the way which is awesome. We have until December, so we’re going to keep the momentum going,” Garcia said.

The funds raised from the walk will go to Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

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