Abbotsford City and Langley Township mayors Henry Braun and Jack Froese helped this year's walk honorees, Susan and Boyd Wylie, cut the start ribbon.

Abbotsford City and Langley Township mayors Henry Braun and Jack Froese helped this year's walk honorees, Susan and Boyd Wylie, cut the start ribbon.

Big crowd, big money raised at Walk for Memories

A large crowd turned out for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.'s fundraising Investors Group Walk for Memories, at Aldergrove Athletic Park

Langley Township fire fighters joined the large crowd that turned out for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s fundraising Investors Group Walk for Memories, Sunday, Jan. 25 at Aldergrove Athletic Park.

Local politicians such as MLA Rich Coleman, Abbotsford City mayor Henry Braun, Langley Township mayor Jack Froese and councillor Charlie Fox helped this year’s walk honorees, Susan and Boyd Wylie, cut the start ribbon and the participants then followed the skirl of the bagpiper as they set off in the walk around the park.

Both Susan and Boyd Wylie, married since 1978, have experienced the loss of their mothers to Alzheimer’s disease.

Boyd first connected with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. in 2008 for information to better understand his mother’s diagnosis. He and Susan later became founding members of an adult kids’ support group in Langley. They both credit attending support groups as allowing them to learn more about the disease and to process their feelings.

Both Susan and Boyd have extensive knowledge of dementia and provide endless empathy and support to others whose lives are impacted by dementia. They also volunteer at numerous local events by distributing information.

Participants in the walk here included Wes and Dawn Rousseau of Aldergrove, who were joined by 15 family members and friends in their Team Fyfe, who raised $615 in the name of Dawn’s father Jack Fyfe and his late sister, who both suffered the devastating disease.

Dawn said her father Jack, now 76, has been battling dementia for eight years and is still living at home in Langley-Surrey where his wife provides his care.

“Our goal was $500 this year and we surpassed that so next year we’re aiming for $1,000 raised,” said Dawn.

Top fundraisers here were Terry Metcalfe, $2,285 with 34 sponsors; Gus Hartl, $1,203 with 17 sponsors; Serena Conlon, $1,050 with 15 sponsors; Dianne Pidlisecky, $810 with 15 sponsors; and Friend of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., $740 with 13 sponsors.

Top teams were Serena Conlon, captain of Team Dave, $4,594 with 58 sponsors; Terry Metcalfe, captain of tjm & friends, $2,285 with 34 sponsors; Boyd and Sue Wylie, captains of Team Rose, $980 with seven sponsors; Dianne Pidlisecky, captain of Team ML, $860 with 15 sponsors; and Christina Strong, captain of Live the Moment – TLFD, $855 with four sponsors.

Funds raised at 24 community walks held across the province support the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s programs in the local communities. Participants walked to honour the over 70,000 individuals in B.C. who have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, while they fundraised for support services, education programs and research for a cure.

The Langley-Aldergrove-Abbotsford edition of the Walk for Memories is held in Aldergrove on the last Sunday of January, and the walk sponsors include Black Press, publishers of The Aldergrove Star, Langley Times and Abbotsford News.

The public is welcome to seek information on the society and to donate to the cause at their website: http://walkformemories.com/