By Euphenie Andre

On Saturday, October 30, more than 500 mid-Missourians, wearing purple and personalized t-shirts, joined together to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Stephens Lake Park. After hosting last year’s walk entirely virtually via a mobile app due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the walk was again held entirely in person this year.

The sky was bright and beautiful during the walk. Flowers were spread all across the park, carried by participants to represent their loved ones. The City Hall keyhole statue, Broadway Street, the Memorial Student Union, and the Shelter Insurance Corporate Office honored the event by lighting up their buildings in purple from Thursday to Saturday. 

Although more than half of Columbia’s population is vaccinated, participants still had to abide by COVID-19 rules and regulations. The staff wanted to ensure a healthy and safe walk. The protocols included physical distancing and contactless registration, among others. 

Chris Cottle, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter manager, was in charge of organizing this year’s walk. He has volunteered at the organization for the past eight years. Cottle is devoted to this movement because his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012. He has become an advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness in the communities of Columbia, Macon, and Kirksville. 

Edited by Ryan Cohen