Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin Dane County Walk

DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) -- A total of 500 people participated in Sunday's Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin Dane County Walk.

The event aims to raise money for the Alliance's programs to help local families in Wisconsin. At this years walk, nearly $100,000 was raised. This year also marks the 20th anniversary for the walk in Dane County.

Many in attendance have a personal connection to the cause.

Sophia Andries, a student at UW-Madison, raised over $15,000 in memory of her grandfather.

"It’s really nice to know that other people have gone through it whether they’re older than me or younger than me," Andries reflects.

Michelle Littel is walking in memory of her late father and says she feels connected to the other walkers.

"It’s really awful to watch someone you love become somebody you don’t know," Littel says.

"We have all lost somebody or are currently dealing with somebody who is in the middle of this awful disease," she adds. "We're all just trying to find a way to end it."

Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin Development Direcotr, Melissa Theisen believes the statistics are staggering.

"It affects so many family and friends and loved ones," Theisen says. "This is a great way to get families out."

A second walk was also held in Grant County, Sunday morning, by the Alliance.

The Alliance has a mission to "support individuals, families and professionals impacted by Alzheimer's disease and other dementia's through information, education, consultation and advocacy; and to promote the advancement of scientific research to better diagnose, treat and ultimately eliminate Alzheimer's disease."

NBC15 was a proud sponsor of this event and John Stofflet emceed and led the walkers on the 2-mile walk.