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Fundraising walks crowd weekend

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If your feet were sore from walking Satur­day to support a cause, you are not alone.

Augusta saw three walks dedicated to raising funds and awareness about diseases – from diabetes to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Though organizers say their walks were successful, some wish for a little better coordination between the causes but say the first weekend in November is obviously an attractive date.

The Walk to Cure Diabetes drew almost 400 people and raised $57,000 “and counting,” said co-chairwoman Gretchen Daly. The walk benefits from a lot of smaller side events before and after that help raise the total.

“We did make more money this year than our last two walks, so we are definitely either more efficient at fundraising or better at it,” Daly said.

When the CSRA Parkinson’s Sup­port Group started its walk 12 years ago, it had the first Saturday in Novem­ber to itself, President Mary Ann Navarro said.

“It turns out, a few other people think it is a good time, too,” she said.

For the past 10 years, the Alzhei­mer’s Association has had its Augus­ta Walk to End Alzheimer’s on the same Saturday to help kick off Novem­ber as Na­tional Alzheimer’s Disease Aware­ness Month, and there have been overlaps with the Parkinson’s walk in the past, said Kathy Tuckey, the programs director for the Augusta region of the group’s Georgia chapter.

“It’s unfortunate there are so many great causes,” she said. “The fall is certainly a great time. I really can’t think of a better time to be doing a walk with it being an awareness month.”

The problem for the Parkinson’s group is its awareness month is April, Navarro said.

“April in Augusta is an impossible time to schedule something,” she said. Navarro longs for some kind of central coordinator of benefit events.

The Alzheimer’s chapter reported more than $92,000 in donations. Na­var­ro said the Parkinson’s response was about the same as previous years.

“Next year, it is going to be different,” she said. “I just don’t know how it is going to be different.”

HOW TO HELP

It is still possible to donate to Augusta walks and help.

• To donate to the Walk to Cure Diabetes, go to jdrfgeorgia.org and look for the link to the Augusta walk.

• To donate to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, go to www.alz.org/georgia/in_my_community_walk.asp and look for the link to the Augusta walk. Donations can also be mailed to 1899 Central Ave., Augusta, Ga. 30904

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