Awareness and money raised to cure disease
THE SANTA CLARA
October 17, 2013
Spearheaded by the Alzheimer’s Association, the walk is the nation’s largest event to raise money and awareness for the disease that afflicts more than five million Americans today and is the sixth-leading cause of death in America.
Leading the group on Saturday was the Santa Clara pep band and Santa Clara’s own team, the “SCU Mighty Broncos.”
The team was made up of 56 students, faculty, alumni and staff, 38 of whom attended Saturday’s event.
Sophomore Matt Katawicz was co-captain of the team alongside Linda Jocewicz of the Affirmative Action Office and Channing McCabe of Operations and Management Information Systems.
Katawicz described the event as a “celebration of people coming together to fight Alzheimer’s.” The day was not focused on the sadness of the disease but rather on the importance of community.
It’s about “how much we can accomplish when we come together,” said Katawicz.
Katawicz has participated in the event for the past six years and has been an active volunteer for five of those years, inspired to action because of his grandmother’s current six-year battle with Alzheimer’s.
This year Katawicz fundraised by selling zucchini bread made using his grandmother’s recipe in her honor.
The Mighty Broncos raised over $10,000, far surpassing last year’s total of $8,600. This amount gave the team the eighth highest fundraising total out of the 260 teams that participated. The vast majority of the money came via online donations.
The concern for Alzheimer’s is more relevant than most young adults realize.
“Getting the students involved is a much tougher egg to crack,” Katawicz admitted.
Young people are less likely to have a direct connection to Alzheimer’s. Yet, today’s Santa Clara students may likely find themselves being a caregiver for their parents or even being diagnosed with the disease in the future.
By the year 2050, when college students today will be in their 60s, an estimated 14 million Americans will be suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Festivities started at around 9 a.m. on Saturday. The pre-walk ceremonies included live music, a warm-up Jazzercise session, speeches by participants and a Promise Flower Ceremony. At 10 a.m., the walkers began the three-mile loop or the one-mile turnaround option for those less able-bodied.
The San Jose walk raised over $615,000 in total. The money will go directly toward the Alzheimer’s Association.
Contact Eryn Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.