10 February 2023

New fundraiser for dementia to sprint into Batemans Bay this February

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Memory Walk & Jog

Some participants pose at the start line for one of the Memory Walk & Jog events last year. Photo: Dementia.org.

A special pop-up fundraising event is coming to Batemans Bay for the first time next weekend.

The event – Memory Walk and Jog, is a vital fundraiser held for Dementia Australia to help fund research, support, education and resources for those living with dementia and their families.

It is being held across 20 locations Australia-wide this year.

Taking place on Sunday 19 February, the Bay event invites people to walk, jog or run around Rotary Park to help beat dementia.

Dementia Australia Advocacy and Research executive director Kaele Stokes said the Memory Walk and Jog events were fun and inclusive for people of all backgrounds, skill levels and abilities.

“I’ve been to a number of them over the years, and it’s always really terrific to see the sense of community and the sense of sharing an experience around dementia that’s in such a positive context,” Ms Stokes said.

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“We have more than 400,000 people living with dementia in Australia in the current time, and just over 1.5 million people involved in their care.

“A huge proportion of our population across the country have been directly or indirectly impacted by dementia, so it’s a really lovely way of coming together as a community to combat discrimination against people living with dementia and to share our understanding and awareness of the disease.”

With more than 10,000 participants involved in the fundraiser yearly across Australia, the event aims to raise more than $1.7 million in 2023.

People can register to participate in a two-kilometre walk, a walk of five to six kilometres or a run of five to 10 kilometres.

Ms Stokes said Dementia Australia couldn’t wait to host a pop-up event in Batemans Bay.

Memory Walk & Jog

Will you participate in the Memory Walk or Jog events in Batemans Bay or Canberra this year? Photo: Dementia.org.

“We’ve had Memory Walks and Jogs in pretty much every capital city around the country, and as we began visiting regional areas, we saw a lot of community interest for Batemans Bay,” she said.

“It will be the first time we’ve been there, and we’re very excited about it. We already have a number of registrations too.

“We are encouraging people to go to our website and sign up to participate because the more people we have, the more fun we will all have, and the more funds we can raise to support people living with dementia.

“Anyone, of all ages, all walks of life, and all fitness levels is invited to come along and be a part of this special event.”

Although the Batemans Bay event is a pop-up, Ms Stokes said Dementia Australia would look at adding Batemans Bay as a permanent event location.

“We’ll look at all of the events we have over the course of the year and see how they go in terms of interest and fundraising,” she said.

“We’d really love to get to see the community get on board and build that sort of more fluidly into our Memory Walk and Jog fundraiser, so we’ll see how we go.”

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Ms Stokes said those wanting to participate could register directly via the Memory Walk and Jog website.

Alternatively, if people can’t make the event, they can organise a group or individual walk or jog as part of Australia’s Walk & Jog Impossible Challenge, or they can donate directly to the fundraiser.

“If anybody does have any concerns about changes in their cognitive abilities and they need to talk to somebody, the National Dementia Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year,” Ms Stokes said.

“People can contact us on 1800 100 500 if they need to talk to someone.”

To find out more, visit dementia.org.au

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