'Walk to End Alzheimer's' event set for Saturday at Sertoma Park

Participants join effort to raise awareness and raise funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research

The "Walk to End Alzheimer's" begins with check-in at 9 a.m. and an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at Sertoma Park. (Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Park District)

The Minnesota/North Dakota Alzheimer’s Association is planning a “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Sertoma Park, at 3300 11th Ave. S.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the event which starts with check-in at 9 a.m. and an opening ceremony at 10 a.m., with the Walk to follow. Participants are encouraged to register early and fundraise to help the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter achieve its $80,000. Registration is free.

Participants can walk their neighborhood or in person following COVID safety protocols, as recommended by local, state and CDC public health officials. They can walk from home, engaging in the event’s experiences through the association’s website, , and mobile app.

The local co-chair of this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Elizabeth Bjerke of Grand Forks who has recently joined the board of directors of the Minnesota/North Dakota Alzheimer’s Association.

“Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and the work to achieve that begins here at home,” Bjerke said. “In North Dakota, there are more than 15,000 people living with the disease, and 19,000 caregivers. Not only are funds raised during the walk to provide support and services to our local community, it is also a time for us to join together to bring awareness to our cause.”


Bjerke’s mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, was an advocate for domestic violence victims and volunteered for the Girls Scouts to support girls as they grew into strong women. Now, Elizabeth Bjerke is carrying on the work, liker her mother, of trying to make the world a better place, she said

On walk day, participants honor those affected by Alzheimer’s with a Promise Garden ceremony, a mission-focused experience that signifies solidarity in the fight against the disease. The color of the Promise Garden flowers represent people’s connection to Alzheimer’s, their personal reasons to end the disease.

More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a leading cause of death in the United States. More than 11 million family members and friends provide care to people living with this disease and other forms of dementia.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Joining Bjerke in organizing the event are Co-chair Megan Rupe and committee members Jason Barta, Shannon Holte, Lisa Krigbaum, Kara Welke, Steffane Prestidge and Mary Ann Soderberg.

For more information, visit the association’s website, or call 800-272-3900. The local chapter office is at 311 S. Fourth St.

The "Walk to End Alzheimer's" begins with a 9 a.m. check-in and 10 a.m. opening ceremony Saturday, Oct. 2, at Sertoma Park. (Photo courtesy of Grand Forks Park District)

Related Topics: EVENTS
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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