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Ride to End Alz stops in Newberry
Newberry Observer - 7/18/2022
Jul. 16—NEWBERRY — The Ride to End Alz, formally Ride to Remember, came through on its annual stop in Newberry on Friday, July 8, with over 300 cyclists coming to Newberry during their 255 miles journey to advance Alzheimer's research, care and support.
According to Beth Sulkowski, vice president of communications for the Alzheimer's Association S.C. Chapter, in 2020 the ride was 100% virtual with cyclists riding wherever they were and last year they eased back into the event.
"This year, we are back to full speed. We have already raised $775,000 toward our $800,000 goal, the most we ever raised. Very exciting to have this kind of momentum," she said on Friday. "There is also excitement around the riders to be back in person and around each other."
Sulkowski added that the great thing about the three-day event is the camaraderie and friendships carried over every year.
"There is a welcoming vibe and everyone just has fun," she said.
One of this year's cyclists was Brenda Garity, of Greenville, who has been participating for the last seven years.
"My first year I did it because my good friend, the first woman I cycled with when I moved to Greenville, her mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she wanted someone to ride with her. I agreed and trained for it and ever since that first ride, I've been participating," she said. "I've never been involved with an event where so many people join together for an awesome cause."
She added that everyone involved is positive and supportive.
"We are challenged to fundraise and join teams to do the best we can, but we are all here for the same reason and that is pretty awesome," Garity said.
During the first day of Ride to End Alz, which ended the ride at Newberry College, Garity said the weather started out great and was cloudy, but humid.
"Then the clouds burned off and it got very hot," she joked.
However, Garity said it is always great to arrive at the college, which she said has a gorgeous campus.
"Newberry is a great small town and a wonderful stopping point for us, we've always had fun here," she said.
As previously mentioned, the Ride to End Alz, presented by RYOBI, helps raise funds for Alzheimer's research, care and support. Sulkowski said in South Carolina alone, there are approximately 95,000 people living with the disease.
"We are not only here to fund research, but also provide support services for folks facing any type of dementia and this is a great opportunity to get the word out," she said.
At the local level, Newberry residents Chad Jenkins and Bradon Gregory participated in the 255-mile race beginning in Simpsonville and ending in Mt. Pleasant.
To learn more about the Alzheimer's Association or get support for facing any type of dementia, visit alz.org/sc or call the 24-Hour Helpline at 800-272-3900.
Reach Andrew Wigger @ 803-768-3122 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.
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