Hiking challenge fundraises for Alzheimer’s Association

ALBANY — Registration is now open for the Alzheimer’s Association Northeastern New York chapter’s annual “Paint the Peaks Purple” hiking challenge in the Adirondack Mountains.

The challenge is part of The Longest Day, a fundraising event held annually on the day with the most light — the Summer Solstice, June 21. On that day and leading up to it, communities around the world rally together to stand up to the darkness of Alzheimer’s and honor the more than million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, including 410,000 in New York state and their caregivers.

The effort was created by John Marcantonio, a resident of South Glens Falls and a member of the Adirondack 46ers, a club for hikers who have summited all 46 High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains. Marcantonio lost his mother to Alzheimer’s in 2016. As her condition began to decline, Marcantonio used walking as therapy and hiked the Adirondack High Peaks. He began this challenge as a way to help caregivers, friends, family and those living with this disease an opportunity to connect with one another and raise critical funds for the Alzheimer’s Association.

To register for this event, visit alz.org/TLD and select hiking as your activity. The Alzheimer’s Association Northeastern New York team will follow up to choose a peak to hike during the month of June, which is also Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

“Whether you are an experienced hiker or a novice, there is a peak for everyone,” Marcantonio said in a news release. “Conquering a peak gives an emotional release for caregivers — and it doesn’t hurt that the views are awe-inspiring. This challenge also gives us an opportunity to talk to other hikers, who see us in our purple shirts, and let them know what this challenge is all about.”

For any questions, email Cara Collier at cacollier@alz.org or 518-675-7193.

The Alzheimer’s Association, Northeastern New York chapter offers free education programs, both virtual and in-person, year-round to help those living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, as well as their caregivers. A listing of programs can be found at www.alz.org/northeasternny.


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