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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Wofford hosts the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for 10th year

South+Carolina+facts+and+figures+on+Alzheimer%E2%80%99s+
South Carolina facts and figures on Alzheimer’s

SPARTANBURG ANTICIPATES RAISING $100,000 FOR AWARENESS AND FUNDS FOR ALZHEIMER’S CARE —

There are 79,000 South Carolinians living with Alzheimer’s.

“That’s nearly enough to fill the stadium at USC or Clemson, or to fill Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium 6 times over,” says Beth M. Sulkowski, South Carolina’s Alzheimer’s Associations’ vice president of communications and advocacy.

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. Spartanburg participates in the Walk, and it has been hosted on Wofford’s campus for the past 10 years.

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Sukowski says, “Funds raised by the Spartanburg walk help the Association provide local support services and education programs, while also supporting nationwide research and advocacy efforts.”

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Wofford is one of 10 walk locations in the state of South Carolina, and one of over 600 walk events in communities nationwide.

Sulkowski, says, “Last year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Spartanburg raised $87,463, and 863 people participated.  However, this walk has raised over $100,000 in the past, and that’s our goal this year. With the support of the Spartanburg community, we know that we can get there!”

This year’s walk will begin outside of Gibbs Stadium Saturday, Oct. 11 at 10:00 a.m. (check-in opens at 9:00 a.m.). The event is being led by Dr. Kara Bopp and Ms. Amy Lancaster. Students are encouraged to get in the know about Alzheimer’s and get involved at the Walk.

Bopp has been involved with the Walk since it was first hosted at Wofford. Bopp is a psychology professor on campus, and her area of expertise is in memory specifically. She has researched extensively in memory and aging, and teaches an adult development and aging course. When she began teaching at Wofford she reached out to the Alzheimer’s Association immediately. The Walk is important to Bopp as a community outreach opportunity for personal reasons as well.

“My husband’s aunt was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at age 52. Her husband had passed when their children were young, so when their mother was diagnosed and eventually passed, they were left parentless as high school students” says Bopp. “My husband’s grandfather also passed after his diagnosis from Alzheimer’s,” she adds.

Although Alzheimer’s is so prevalent that it will ultimately affect all of us—either directly or through someone we know—Bopp acknowledges that it is difficult to get people to support the cause.

She says: “We have a hard time getting people to support and raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, although it is the number six killer among diseases. It is a really depressing topic, and particularly in the South it is a very private matter for people. But as baby boomers age, this is going to cause a major financial impact on our youth.”

The purpose of the Walk is to stimulate the awareness and to help people understand Alzheimer’s and its impact, as mentioned by Bopp.

“Several area colleges will be represented; last year we had a record number of student volunteers and team members. It is my hope that our students, faculty and staff will wow the Upstate yet again with a strong turn out!” says Lancaster.

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. It is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. If you are interested in donating, walking, volunteering to help set up, or any combination of the former, please click here to access our Wofford College Team page. (Go to alz.org and click on the Walk To End Alzheimer’s tab).

Lancaster says, “You don’t have to donate to walk and you don’t have to walk to donate. Any support is appreciated. The walk is approximately 2 miles in and around campus. There will be fun activities for kids and hopefully the weather will cooperate.”

There will also be a bake sale to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association outside of Burwell Tuesday, Oct. 7 and Thursday, Oct. 9.

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