HOUGHTON - The Houghton County Walk to End Alzheimer's returned in force Saturday, drawing 50 people to the Bluffs Senior Community in a fundraising walk for a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
Originally held in Houghton, the walk was discontinued for a few of years before coming back due to popular demand, said Philip Poutinen of the Alzheimer's Association.
"This is sort of reinitiating the walk in the community again," he said.
From left, Rose Gemignani, Paula Lucier, Breigh Lawrence and Annette Lawrence participate in the Houghton County Walk to end Alzheimer’s at the Bluffs Senior Community in Houghton Saturday. About 50 people came out for the walk. Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Garrett Neese)
The walk was one of 600 held nationwide to raise awareness and to support research. Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain disorder, usually beginning in late middle age, characterized by a decrease in function, including severe memory loss.
About 8,500 people in the Upper Peninsula have Alzheimer's, Poutinen said.
Walkers included residents from the Bluffs and members of a seniors' group in Toivola, as well as other community members.
Sisters Annette Lawrence of Chassell and Rose Gemignani of Hancock were part of the last group across the line, joined by Lawrence's daughter Breigh and family friend Paula Lucier of Hancock.
"Our dad (Tony Pleshe) died of Alzheimer's, and some really good friends of ours did too," Gemignani said.
Poutinen credited the Bluffs for its help with the walk.
"We look forward to working with them for many years in the future to keep it going," she said.