PUNTA GORDA — They all walked for a different reason.

Caregivers held yellow flowers, while those holding purple flowers had lost a loved one. People with blue flowers had the disease themselves.

More than 500 Charlotte County residents walked Saturday in Punta Gorda’s Laishley Park for someone who is suffering from, succumbed to, or is caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in Florida.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association, raised $41,505 of its $59,000 goal.

“Alzheimer’s is destroying our families, our finances and our future,” says Kathy Heldman, Alzheimer’s Association Development Manager. “It’s time to end it.”

Before walking over two miles in the park, participants could receive a flower from the Promise Garden and write a personal message on it.

Flowers came in a variety of colors representing different experiences.

The walk’s proceeds go towards the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Fundraising will continue until Dec. 20. To donate,visit act.alz.org.

Click on “get involved” and “Donate”The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting a presentation Nov. 1 to teach the public about the 10 common warning signs of Alzheimer’s. The presentation will be at 1:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St., in Port Charlotte. To register, visit www.alz.org/CRF.

To volunteer or learn more about resources for Alzheimer’s or dementia, call the Alzheimer’s Association helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

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