FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The success of the annual Fairfield County Walk to End Alzheimer's, which will be held Sunday in Norwalk, is thanks to the support and participation of dedicated residents.
"I wanted to commemorate and honor my dad’s career in creating beautiful works of art and sculpture," said Stamford resident Len Schwartz. "The plan is to make Art for ALZ an annual event and eventually take it online so it can be a year-long, 24/7 fundraiser.”
The team captain for the Stamford Realtors team, Schwartz has associated with the walk for six years. His father was a prolific artist who battled Alzheimer's for nine years. Schwartz was the top individual fundraiser in 2014.
"It is an honor to be recognized as a champion of support for the cause," said Westport's Deb Farrugio. "This could only have been achieved with the support of my team – Task Home Care Services, friends and family. They have joined me with their passion, commitment and time to raise awareness and funding.”
Farrugio founded Task Home Care Services of Westport, which is the Gold sponsor for this year's Walk and has two participating teams. She will be recognized during the Walk ceremony and represent the orange Promise Garden flower for her vision of a world without Alzheimer's.
“I see first-hand how difficult it is for families who experience the progression of the disease with their loved ones," said Christy Perone of Wilton. "I talk daily with families who are looking at available options while balancing work and other family obligations.”
Perone participated as both a Walk team member and an event committee member for the past six years. She heads an annual silent auction event that raises the majority of her team's funds. Perone's maternal grandmother battled dementia for 20 years.
“I have always wanted my professional career to revolve around community relations and involvement and Fairfield University has given me that opportunity," said Teddy DeRosa. "When Lexi Rodriguez came to me with information about partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, I couldn’t say no to her enthusiasm.
"Since then, we have partnered with the Association for a number of events and the immediate impact they have on the community is inspiring. The Association’s mission coincides perfectly with our university’s Jesuit values of serving others and I’m so excited to see how our partnership can impact the Fairfield community and beyond.”
DeRosa is associate director for public relations and community Relations at Fairfield University. Along with Administrative Assistant Diane Mastrone, DeRosa enlisted the assistance of the school's women's basketball team, nursing students and more to join the cause.
The annual event by the Alzheimer's Association Connecticut Chapter currently boasts 183 teams, 800 walkers and $135,776 raised to date.
The walk will take place at Norwalk's Calf Pasture Beach on Oct. 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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