Nearly 2,000 residents from Columbia and surrounding communities joined the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Segra Park October 26. Participants honored those impacted by Alzheimer’s or related dementias before walking two miles through downtown Columbia. To date, this event has raised $175,000 to support the care, support and research programs of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The top fundraising team at this year’s walk was Team Yvonne, led by Dennis Bright, raising more than $5,400. The team walked in memory of Yvonne Bright, Dennis’s late wife, who passed away with younger-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 65. They started seeing signs of her illness at age 58.

“Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. While age is a major risk factor, approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s,” said Ashton Houghton, Vice President of Development for the Alzheimer’s Association, South Carolina Chapter. “With the support of our Midlands community, the Alzheimer’s Association is able to fund research initiatives and provide support services to families facing Alzheimer’s or another dementia.”

Donations will be accepted through year-end to help the Columbia Walk to End Alzheimer’s reach its $205,000 fundraising goal. Contributions may be made online at or mailed to the Alzheimer’s Association, Attn: Columbia Walk, 901 S. Pine St, Spartanburg, SC 29302.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s was co-emceed by Andrea Mock of WLTX and Steve McKay from B106.7. Special guests Deputy Addy Perez of Live PD and Congressman Joe Wilson also joined the purple-clad crowd at Saturday’s event. The Congressman is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Act, which would help individuals with dementia under the age of 60 access support programs through the Older Americans Act.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In South Carolina alone, there are more than 92,000 people living with the disease and 313,000 caregivers.

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. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk.