Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Eagle is making strides

Alzheimer's Association announces two new FDA-approved treatments that target root cause of disease

The Rocky Mountain Walk to End Alzheimer's brought out about 200 people to walk to help end Alzheimer's disease and all other dementia.
Rocky Mountain Walk to End Alzheimer’s/Courtesy photo

Over 200 people gathered for the Rocky Mountain Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Brush Creek Park in Eagle on Sept. 23. In its sixth year, the charity walk contributes to the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association to end Alzheimer’s disease and all other dementia by leading the charge and funding for global research, risk reduction, early detection and quality care and support.

“The 65 years and older demographic is the fastest growing population in Eagle County and our active seniors want to age in place, in their homes and in the community they love,” said Melinda Gladitsch, volunteer committee chair. “The work of the many Rocky Mountain Walk to End Alzheimer’s planning committee members, sponsors and volunteers is helping raise awareness and funding to provide needed research for treatments such as the ones we have seen arrive on the market this year.”

“We are more hopeful this year than ever before because for the first time, we have two new FDA-approved treatments, Leqembi and Aduhelm, that target one of the root causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Even more treatments are being studied in clinical trials, offering hope for even better options in the future,” said Melanie Thibodeau, the Alzheimer’s Association development director for greater Boulder and mountain regions.

Vail Valley entertainer Helmut Fricker plays “Amazing Grace” on the alpenhorn to kick off the Rocky Mountain Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Brush Creek Park in Eagle Ranch.
Rocky Mountain Walk to End Alzheimer’s/Courtesy photo

The gathering on Saturday was truly a fun-filled celebration. Eventgoers, most of whom were wearing purple, the color for Alzheimer’s disease, were greeted on Saturday morning with coffee from Starbucks in Avon and fruit from Ridley’s. Once again, Ace Hardware in Gypsum brought out the Big Green Eggs to grill up brisket, baked beans and mac and cheese for folks to enjoy afterward. Everyone enjoyed entertainment from Mountain Harmony, Helmut and Charlotte Fricker, Don Watson and the Battle Mountain High School Dance Team. Sponsors exhibited in the festival area to show their support for the cause and give out some fun goodies to those attending.

“This year we had 30 corporate and organization sponsorships and over half of them have been with us since our second year in 2019,” Gladitsch said. “We are so fortunate to live in an area where our businesses and community organizations support us in the fight for an end to Alzheimer’s.”

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Dan and Michelle Sanders of Eagle Ranch walk to help the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
Rocky Mountain Walk to End Alzheimer’s/Courtesy photo

“At the Alzheimer’s Association, we believe that individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease deserve the right to make informed decisions about their care. When it comes to FDA-approved treatments, especially in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, they can significantly improve one’s quality of life by providing more time to engage in daily activities, maintain independence, and plan for future health care needs. We are proud to have played a role in expanding Medicare access to these treatments. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have expressed their commitment to broad access, and it’s crucial for all payers to follow suit,” Thibodeau said. 

Even though strides have been made, there is still work to be done. Ultimately, the end of Alzheimer’s will come through research. The money you raise helps the Association fund some of the most promising studies in the field. Currently, the Association is investing more than $360 million in more than 1,000 projects in 53 countries.

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So far, the Rocky Mountain Walk to End Alzheimer’s is at just over 60% of its goal of $158,000 and donations can be accepted through Dec. 31 by going to If you would like to help with next year’s Rocky Mountain Walk to End Alzheimer’s, you can volunteer by contacting Melinda Gladitsch at

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