Hundreds walk to end Alzheimer’s

By Nikolas Samuels

Last update: Saturday, October 8th, 2016

High school cheerleaders lined the walkway shaking pompoms and ringing bells as 620 people walked under an arch of purple and white balloons during the 4th annual Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s Santa Clarita.

Over $90,000 was raised from Saturday’s event at Bridgeport Park, which is used to support local programs and national funding to find a cure to Alzheimer’s.

“It is impossible for you to find someone who is not somewhat touched by this disease,” said Rick Ferrante, the event chair of the walk.

That was the case for a myriad people who were present, some of which were walking in memory of relatives who passed away from Alzheimer’s.

One such person was 12-year-old Alijah Wilkerson who was part of a 15 person team that walked in memory of Wilkerson’s great-grandmother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s while he was still an infant. The members of the team wore a shirt bearing her name on the back: Anselma Diluigi.

“I did this in respect of her,” said Wilkerson.

The SCV walk was one of 600 walks that the Alzheimer’s Association puts on nationally.

Hundreds of participants join in the Alzheimers's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising event which was was held at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Hundreds of participants join in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising event which was held at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

As a result of the funds raised, the association has been able to bring more resources to the Santa Clarita Valley for those affected with Alzheimer’s such as support groups, educational materials and more.

Last year, there was only one support group for those who care for others with Alzheimer’s in SCV.

“Now there’s five,” said Ferrante.

Many people who participated expect to return for future walks such as Bryan Piolatto, who went with his family.

“We will be back next year for sure,” said Piolatto.

Jack Jensen, 2, of Saugus holds up a yellow flower indicting that his family supports or cares for someone with Alzheimer's disease as he and his family join hundreds of participants in the Alzheimers's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising event which was was held at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Jack Jensen, 2, of Saugus holds up a yellow flower indicating that his family supports or cares for someone with Alzheimer’s disease as he and his family join hundreds of participants in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising event which was held at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Hundreds walk to end Alzheimer’s

Hundreds of participants join in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising event which was was held at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

High school cheerleaders lined the walkway shaking pompoms and ringing bells as 620 people walked under an arch of purple and white balloons during the 4th annual Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s Santa Clarita.

Over $90,000 was raised from Saturday’s event at Bridgeport Park, which is used to support local programs and national funding to find a cure to Alzheimer’s.

“It is impossible for you to find someone who is not somewhat touched by this disease,” said Rick Ferrante, the event chair of the walk.

That was the case for a myriad people who were present, some of which were walking in memory of relatives who passed away from Alzheimer’s.

One such person was 12-year-old Alijah Wilkerson who was part of a 15 person team that walked in memory of Wilkerson’s great-grandmother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s while he was still an infant. The members of the team wore a shirt bearing her name on the back: Anselma Diluigi.

“I did this in respect of her,” said Wilkerson.

The SCV walk was one of 600 walks that the Alzheimer’s Association puts on nationally.

Hundreds of participants join in the Alzheimers's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising event which was was held at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Hundreds of participants join in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising event which was held at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

As a result of the funds raised, the association has been able to bring more resources to the Santa Clarita Valley for those affected with Alzheimer’s such as support groups, educational materials and more.

Last year, there was only one support group for those who care for others with Alzheimer’s in SCV.

“Now there’s five,” said Ferrante.

Many people who participated expect to return for future walks such as Bryan Piolatto, who went with his family.

“We will be back next year for sure,” said Piolatto.

Jack Jensen, 2, of Saugus holds up a yellow flower indicting that his family supports or cares for someone with Alzheimer's disease as he and his family join hundreds of participants in the Alzheimers's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising event which was was held at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Jack Jensen, 2, of Saugus holds up a yellow flower indicating that his family supports or cares for someone with Alzheimer’s disease as he and his family join hundreds of participants in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising event which was held at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

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Nikolas Samuels

Nikolas Samuels

  • I’m so proud to have been a part of the Alzheimer’s Association Southland Chapter 2016 SCV Walk to End Alzheimer’s planning committee. They are ALL amazing go getters who did whatever needed to be done to pull off this over the top, amazing event. Who could have imagined we could get over 600 walkers out to show their support and raise over $90,000?! They did! Thanks for the incredible support Santa Clarita. I knew we could count on you. See you next year!

  • So did the walk end Alzheimer’s I forget.

Nikolas Samuels

Nikolas Samuels