Block Island’s Walk for Alzheimer’s raises almost $85,000 to fight the disease
The fourth annual Walk for Alzheimer’s on Block Island was held on Sunday, September 18 in honor of long-time Block Island resident Peter Greenman.
Greenman, who passed away last year, was the initial organizer for the Block Island walks, which held special meaning for him as his beloved wife Sandy suffers from the disease. In one of his last efforts on the island, he worked “tirelessly” to secure a $50,000 grant from the Roosa Fund according to his daughter Sarah Greenman Barclay.
Barclay told The Block Island Times that many members of her extended family had gathered on the island for the event, coming from as far away as Colorado. Some even arrived at the Fred Benson Town Beach in Peter’s signature green VW bus.
Before the two-mile walk kicked off, a ceremony was held in Greenman’s honor with Town Manager Maryanne Crawford acting as emcee. Crawford said that there were 24,000 in Rhode Island alone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and the money raised by the walks went mainly to research and assisting with care-giving.
The fundraising goal for the island walk was $80,000, but by the time it started, close to $85,000 had been raised.
When the microphone was turned over to Barclay, she said of her father: “Please do not under-estimate what one person can do.” Of the $50,000 grant from the Roosa Fund, she said her father had spent months before his death working on securing it, and the award was not announced until after his death. “The power of one is really strong.”
Barclay’s brother, Chris Greenman also made a small speech before the two were presented by a special plaque in honor of their father.
The ceremony ended with the crowd being invited to pick a whirligig flower in a color indicating their relationship with the Alzheimer’s. In turn, participants were asked to raise their flowers by color, and as the winds gusted, petals flew off
into the wind.
Pat and Sandra Kelly have “taken up the mantle,” and will be the walk’s island organizers going forward.