SEVIER COUNTY - Early Saturday morning, hundreds of people came out to raise money for Alzheimer's Tennessee in their 25th anniversary of the Smoky Mountain Alzheimer's Tennessee Walk.
Folks came out to Smokies Stadium and were welcomed by the Kingdom Heirs, a popular Southern gospel group. The performance was a personal one, as the bass player, Kreis French's father, now lives with dementia.
"Whether you're a family member who is suffering, a neighbor, or you work in that field -- everybody is touched by it some way," Colleen Mille, co-chair for Alzheimer's Tennessee, said.
The walk is a great opportunity for people to honor their loved ones who have passed or learn and become educated on how to deal with a family member's diagnosis.
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"We provide education resources and help the families cope better with those who have been diagnosed," Mille said.
Aside from the walk, people were able to celebrate and help others through fundraisers and volunteer work. Many involved in volunteering have been affected by Alzheimer's in some point in their life.
"My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's some time ago. Unfortunately he passed away this last April," Mille said. "It was a very difficult journey for the family to be on. I reached out to Alzheimer's Tennessee for help. They were able to provide me with a booklet of all the homes in the area. I went to education seminars on what I can do for my dad and how to handle the situation."
All money raised today will stay within the state of Tennessee and assist in medical research, prevention and treatment.
At Saturday's walk, $40,000 was raised.
If you would like to donate, you can go to Alzheimer's Tennessee's website here.
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