More than 2,000 people gathered Saturday at Segra Park in Columbia, and countless more were there via names on T-shirts, on pinwheels, and in the hearts and memories of those who took part in the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The annual event, organized by the South Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, raised more than $160,000 for the association’s mission: to provide care and support for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, to raise awareness of brain health in order to reduce the risk of dementia for others, and to fund research for a cure.

“We’re here for my mama, their grandma,” said Anna Goodwin, who walked the two-mile course with her three children. “We just want to do all we can so they can find a cure.”

Researchers have made progress in recent years, with federal funding increasing to $1.4 billion per year in 2017, and the Alzheimer’s Association website proclaims that “The first survivor of Alzheimer's is out there, but we won't get there without you.”

Rep. Joe Wilson, a supporter of the increased federal funding, was on hand in Columbia Saturday and spoke to the crowd before the walk. Andrea Mock of WLTX, another longtime supporter of the cause, served as host for the event.

Team Yvonne was the top team fundraiser for this year’s Columbia walk, bringing in $5,450. Edward Jones financial services firm topped the sponsor groups with $8,835, and Nicole Perkins was the leading individual fundraiser, delivering $3,972.50 through her own hard work.

More information on the fight against Alzheimer’s is available at alz.org/sc.

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