NAPLES, Fla. — The impacts of Hurricane Ian have touched many Southwest Florida charities and organizations, with some deciding to alter their plans or cancel events altogether.
However, for the ALZ Association, organizers decided to modify this weekend's Walk to End Alzheimer's so they could do good for all seniors impacted by the storm.
Walk manager Brittany Carroll said the walk was originally scheduled to take place in Fort Myers. Instead, the charity event was moved to Naples.
It was open to the public, and people could participate in the walk and also donate to a fund that would benefit Ian relief.
"It's a feel-good day, if I can say that," Carroll remarked.
Despite widening the scope of the event, the ALZ Association's message was not lost on participants. Every year, the organization holds charity walks in 600 communities nationwide, raising money for research and awareness of Alzheimer's Disease, making it the biggest fundraiser for the cause in the world.
Gene Clancy, who is currently fighting the disease, took part in the walk alongside her family for the second year.
"They back us up and take care of us," Clancy said. "It’s awareness and raising money to try to end this nasty disease; its a terrible disease."
The Clancy family proudly displayed flowers taken from the "Promise Garden," a visual sign of why they were gathered.
"My mother has early-onset Alzheimers," Clancy's daughter said. "We lost my grandmother to early-onset Alzheimer's also."
Each color of flower represents something special for the Alzheimer's community: Orange indicates support of the fight to end the disease; yellow symbolizes those who care for someone with the affliction; purple memorializes those lost; blue champions those actively fighting.
More than 120 people gathered for Saturday's event.