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Local team on the move to end Alzheimer's

A team from Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to walk in the Greater Bay Area Memory Walk, scheduled Oct. 6 on Treasure Island.

The Memory Walk raises funds to support the mission of the Alzheimer's Association to eliminate the disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support and to reduce the risk of dementia through promotion of brain health.

Last year's Bay Area Memory Walk, the largest in the country with 6,000 walkers, raised $900,000. For the past three years, LAUMC has been the top community team in the United States, last year raising $65,000.

Local walkers will be led by Los Altos resident Bonnie Bollwinkel, who knows the impact of Alzheimer's first-hand - her father, Dr. Don Minkler, died after a suffering more than a decade from Alzheimer's. Minkler had been on the faculty at UC San Francisco and had helped establish one of the first Alzheimer's day care centers in the Bay Area.

"This is my sixth year participating in Memory Walk. It's the signature Alzheimer's event to raise funds and awareness in more than 600 communities across the nation," Bollwinkel said.

Funds raised by the walkers will help provide support to eliminate the progressive and fatal disease, which afflicts 5 million Americans and impacts the lives of 10 million caregivers.

"It's really amazing to me as I look back," Bollwinkel said. "We started our team from nothing and, thanks to the commitment of so many friends and other families, we've raised the most in the nation. It really reflects what determination and spirit can achieve."

To join or donate to the LAUMC team, visit www.laumc.org. For more information on Alzheimer's, call (800) 272-3900 or visit www.alz.org/norcal.

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