Welcome to the Vets March to End Alzheimer's 2021 Campaign!!! We are so thankful for the opportunity to address you - right here, right now. So here's our story and why we are so passionate and excited for you to join our team or to show your support.
First off, I'm Major Tim Welbaum, Army Reservist and Combat Vet, with 17 years of service as of March 2021. I also own Visiting Angels South Central Michigan located in Adrian. For nearly four years, we've been a community leader in providing homecare services to our senior community, and these experiences have shed light on one very common disease - Alzheimer's. After our first year in the homecare industry, we quickly realized that Alzheimer's and the different forms of Dementia were very common among our friends, family members and throughout our communities.
In fact, did you know that 1 in 3 seniors will die from Alzheimer's or Dementia? Or that Vets with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) have an increased chance of 2 - 4 times that of the average person (which is already extremely high)? Here is another startling fact... Alzheimer's kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined every year, yet few people know anything about Alzheimer's. With someone developing Alzheimer's every 65 seconds in the United States, we need your help desperately in fighting to #ENDALZ!!!
So, after seeing the common trend of this horrific disease haunting family after family that we've provided homecare services for, we knew we had to learn more about this disease. And that's when we discovered the Alzheimer's Association. Once we learned about the AA's beautiful mission, we knew right away that we needed to get involved and build a lasting partnership. The Alz Association quickly notified us about their signature annual event - The Walk to End Alzheimer's. Scott, who is also a Combat Vet and my office manager at Visiting Angels, helped me develop our successful Vets March to End Alzheimer's Campaign. This was our way of putting a fun (ha!), military spin on this already great event. The plan was to march military style while wearing 35-40 pound ruck sacks from our office in Adrian to the Alzheimer's Association's, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter office in Ann Arbor. Once we arrived, we would present them with our large check consisting of all of the wonderful donations we'd have collected to that point from all the fundraising our event helped us accomplish.
Our goal in 2018 was to raise $33,000 for the Alzheimer's Association, representing $1,000 for each mile we were going to attempt to march, which was estimated to be 33 miles. We later found out it was 34.5 miles, lol. But what's another 1.5 miles when you've already gone 33?? Am I right?!! When the dust settled in 2018, we had successfully raised an incredible $68,404!! We were the top team in the state of Michigan, and we finished around 21st in the nation, with myself being humbled to have placed 10th in the nation as an individual fundraiser.
Since we had so much success in 2018, we came back again in 2019 with our goal set at raising $70,000 which would represent $1 for every step it would take to march the 34.5 miles. By the end of the year, the Vets March Campaign successfully raised $70,629 as a result of so many wonderful people supporting this beautiful campaign and mission. And Scott had an incredible finish as 8th place throughout the nation for his individual fundraising efforts!!
Then COVID-19 hit!!! Due to how difficult the year was throughout 2020 for so many who were struggling, we didn't have it in our hearts to ask individuals or businesses for donations last year. But, it turns out we were wrong to assume that people and businesses wouldn't want to or be able to donate. Shame on us and we've been full of regret since making that decision last year.
So, guess what?!! We're back again for 2021, and this year, we need your help! Since we didn't fundraise in 2020, we plan to go HUGE in 2021. For the first time in our campaign's history, the Vet's March to End Alzheimer's will target raising $100,000!!!! As you can imagine, its not an easy task raising anywhere close to that amount with a small handful of people. This is why we need to build a huge team of cheerleaders & Soldiers to help us spread the word about the Alzheimer's Association and to get on board with fundraising a few bucks for our campaign. In this fight, EVERY dollar counts!! And no, if you join our team to fundraise and cheerlead with us, you DO NOT have to march with us, lol. However, there is a very short and slow paced Walk to End Alzheimer's event that we will also participate in located in Lenawee County that you could join us in if you really wanted to. That event is scheduled to occur on October 3rd, 2021 and is not a requirement to support our cause.
So how about it?! Will you join our team and help us stir up some support? Its much easier than you think. Click join team somewhere on this page, and then ensure you link your social media accounts, such as Facebook and twitter to your personal Alzheimer's page, which will ensure you help out our team and that you also receive the credit for all donations raised which will also qualify you for some really cool gifts depending on how much you raise. And if joining our team isn't the right fit for you, you can still get in on the action by making a donation to our team yourself which will go a very long way toward helping us achieve another very successful year in our fight to End Alzheimer's disease.
Again, every donation, small or large, helps us get that much closer to the World's first Alzheimer's Survivor. We also have had roughly 30+ corporate sponsors each year. So if you or your business want to be one of our corporate sponsors, we'd be honored as well! If you have any questions or would like to talk more about corporate sponsorships or joining our team or supporting our cause, please feel free to reach out to me directly at 616-719-7358.
And just in case you could also use information about Alzheimer's disease or want to check out the free resources and programs available in your community, feel free to go to www.alz.org or for immediate assistance, use the Alzheimer's Association's 24-7 Helpline: 800.272.3900. Stay strong and God Bless!!!
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