More than 300 people, including 200 FCJ College students, joined Cooinda Aged Care on Friday in its ‘‘Walk and Wake up to Dementia’’ fundraiser.
The timing of the event was perfect with a sunny spring morning encouraging people from across Benalla to take part.
The event, held at Benalla’s Botanical Gardens, encouraged people to walk around the lake to promote exercise, which is an important factor in helping to prevent dementia.
FCJ College students and teachers from years 7, 8 and 9 were joined by State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan and more than 100 community members.
The event was supported by Alzheimers Australia Victoria, which handed out free information on ways that may help prevent or manage dementia and YMCA, who gave away free passes to try their exercise programs.
Your Memory Matters hosted a tent where people wrote about why they were walking, which they pinned to purple strings inside.
Purple is the colour people display to show support for dementia awareness.
FCJ College students also wore a purple ribbon, in recognition of the event and left messages to explain why the event was important to them.
One such ribbon read: ‘‘I’m walking today because my nan has dementia and it makes me sad I can’t talk to her anymore.’’
Cooinda chief executive and director of nursing Margaret Aldous said the day was a complete success.
‘‘We were very happy with interest and support from the Benalla community for our Walk and Wake Up to Dementia event,’’ Ms Aldous said.
‘‘This event will be the first of many that we will run to raise awareness of the effect dementia has on our community this September, Dementia Awareness Month.
‘‘We’d especially like to thank the Benalla Rural City for their support, the Benalla Lions Club for giving their time at the barbecue and the local businesses who donated much of the barbecue supplies.’’
All proceeds raised from the event will benefit Cooinda’s dementia activities and Alzheimers Australia Victoria.