Now, Marlon is using his hobby of kayaking (and persuasion as a New Echota Rivers Alliance (NERA) board member) to raise money to fight the disease in Gordon County.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, the Harris duo will join dozens of water lovers and participate in NERA’s Paddle to end Alzheimers.
NERA, a local river protection group, and the Alzheimers Association are teaming up for “NERA’s Paddle to end Alzheimers.” This will give participants two options: a 23-mile “extreme” paddle or a 10-mile “family” paddle on the river Oct. 15.
Paddlers participating in the extreme paddle will meet at 7 a.m. at the Elks Club boat ramp just past the golf course and make their way down to Vernon Brookshire Park on Hwy 156. Paddlers participating in the family paddle will meet at noon by the soccer fields and end at Vernon Brookshire Park.
Dan McBee, NERA president, said all of the money raised will go directly to the Alzheimer’s Association.
“We have several members that know someone that has been affected by Alzheimer’s. We feel its a cause that could use our help,” he said.
McBee also said that he hopes to see as many people, whether they are avid canoeists or kayakers or not, come out and support NERA in its initiative.
“We hope that paddle groups across Georgia would take up this cause and eventually have a statewide Alzheimer’s paddle, having it start in Gordon County,” he said.
Karen Parrott, organizer of the annual Alzheimer’s Walk, said she was excited when NERA presented this idea to her.
“We need more teams and more events like the NERA one to help us get the message out and to help us raise money to find a cure. You have no idea how much it touches my heart when a group of wonderful people get excited about what they do and why they are willing to give up their time for a good cause and have fun too,” she said.
Online team fund-raising pages will be hosted through the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alzga.org. Prospective paddlers can begin raising money online now. The Alzheimer’s Association holds several local fundraisers throughout the year and raised approximately $20,000 last year to support research, support and local efforts.
Pre-registration is required, and participants must sign up for the trip by visiting www.neranow.org. All participants will be asked to make a flat $10 donation to paddle on that day, if they are not fundraising for Alzheimer’s as an individual or on a team.
Paddlers are encouraged to go “purple” for the occasion. Shuttles will be provided and boat rentals are available. The trip is sponsored by NERA, but a membership is not required.
For more information, contact Dan McBee at 706-263-4002 or by email at email@example.com or contact Karen Parrott at firstname.lastname@example.org.