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Moses Lake supports Alzheimer's research

Columbia Basin Herald - 7/25/2022

Jul. 25—MOSES LAKE — The Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce held their annual Purple Party Thursday to raise awareness and money for the Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's.

"(The event) just seems to be growing and growing," said Terri Riley-Brown, a patient care representative for Assured Home Health who helped organize the event.

The party has been going on for nearly 10 years, Riley-Brown said. She thought there was an excellent turnout this year. She also wanted to make sure to thank the Russell family, owners of Porterhouse, for their support and hosting of the event.

The event's purpose was not only to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association but also to encourage members of the community to sign up to walk at the Walk To End Alzheimer's event happening on September 17 at McCosh Park. In years past it was at the Msoes Lake High School track.

"It's people from our community that either have had a loved one with dementia or has a loved one with dementia or better yet, they're walking and supporting this association so their children never have to worry about dementia," Riley-Brown said. "It's all about building awareness so we can nip this disease."

Jordan Hunter, Manager of the Walk to End Alzheimer's for the Washington State Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association said their goal for the Moses Lake walk this year is 200 people and to raise $40,000.

Joel Loiacono, Regional Director of the Alzheimer's Association for Eastern Washington and North Idaho, explained the impact that Alzheimer's and other related dementias have on people and their families.

"Alzheimer's is a disease, (but) it's also a type of dementia, what they have in common are the symptoms," said Loiacono. "So you're going to see memory loss, you're going to see changes in judgment, mood, behavior. The symptoms of dementia rob you of your ability to live independently."

Loiacono said that there are over 120,000 people in the state of Washington with Alzheimer's and they estimate by 2025 for that number to grow to 140,000.

Fran Durepo has Alzheimer's. She said she wants people to understand that people don't have to be afraid to approach them and have a conversation like anyone else.

"Sometimes I think people are afraid, they're afraid if they approach someone like me, with Alzheimer's... we need to improve education so they're comfortable with us," said Durepo "We're the same people, we're just very very forgetful."

Her husband, Gary, said it's good to come out and see the community support.

"I think having these get-togethers help those of us who have Alzheimer's to know lots and lots of people are working for us," said Durepo.

Rebecca Pettingill may be reached at

Want to walk?

To register for or donate to the Moses Lake Walk to End Alzheimer's visit


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