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Walking toward a cure for dementia


SpringRidge Courts annual walk raises funds for Alzheimers Assocication

A little spring rain won’t get the folks at SpringRidge Court down. Together with the Charbonneau neighborhood, the assisted living and memory care community is hosting its third annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s on May 19 — rain or shine.

The three-mile walk will begin at SpringRidge Court, located at 32100 SW French Prairie Road in Wilsonville, then wind through the Charbonneau community.

According to Cindy Foster, SpringRidge Court program assistant and event organizer, the staff started the annual fundraiser to create awareness of dementia diseases and educate the public. Though there is annual walk in downtown Portland for the Alzheimer’s Association, Foster wanted to create a smaller, similar event in Wilsonville.

The first year the walk raised $2,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association and last it grew to $2,400. This year, Foster is aiming for $3,000.

“If we can get more, great,” Foster said. “Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and we want to do our part of support the advancement of research.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

More than 5 million Americans are living with the Alzheimer’s and one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

“Alzheimer’s has grown so much and it’s only going to get worse,” Foster said, adding that more than half of the residents at SpringRidge have dementia. “It’s such a devastating thing for us to see. We need to get this horrible disease cured.”

Along with raising money for the Alzhiemer’s Association, Foster also hopes to educate participants about dementia, its symptoms and its treatments. There will be staff to talk to and informational brochures.

“We can’t stop the disease, we can just challenge as much as we can,” Foster said. “I think a lot of people aren’t aware. They close their eyes.

“It’s education, but it also takes away the fear of something. Education is actually empowerment.”

SpringRidge Court residents will be greeters at the walk. Following the walk there will be musical entertainment and a barbecue including hot dogs and hamburgers. There will also be prizes donated from area businesses.

The walk itself is good preventative medicine against dementia, as exercise helps stimulate the brain, according to Foster.

The cost is $5 per walker and all the money goes toward the Alzheimer’s Association local chapter. Registration forms for Walk to End Alzheimer’s are available at SpringRidge Court daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and at the Charbonneau Country Club. Forms are also available by request by emailing Foster at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Pre-registration by Friday, May 10, is encouraged.

To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association, visit alz.org. To learn more about SpringRidge Court or the walk, call 503-694-0327.