According to an Alzheimer’s Association report, about 92,000 people in South Carolina have Alzheimer’s Disease, and that number is estimated to grow to 120,000 by the year 2025. The ARK, Alzheimer’s Family Support Services, is working to raise awareness and funds for local families living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia with its second annual Ugly Sweater 5K Dash on Dec. 14th in historic downtown Summerville. To kick-off the holiday season, runners and walkers should wear their ugliest holiday sweater for a chance to win prizes. Awards will be given out to the top 3 overall male and female runners.
The race includes a 5K run/walk and St. Nick’s 1-mile stroll – both races begin and end at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 206 Central Ave. The 5K begins at 8:45 a.m. and the 1-mile stroll kicks off at 9:45 a.m. This race will include carolers, fun surprises and holiday cheer. All race proceeds will benefit The ARK in its work providing comprehensive support services to families living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.
“Caregiving is demanding and can be overwhelming to take care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and too much stress is not good for anyone,” said Peg Lahmeyer, executive director of The ARK. “Our hope is that the Ugly Sweater 5K Dash participants will have a great time while supporting The ARK’s programs for those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers who are caregiving 24/7.”
Funds raised from this event help support The ARK’s work in five area counties, including their social respite programs, memory screenings, resource fairs, educational workshops and support groups. More South Carolinians die from Alzheimer’s disease than in any other state. The average mortality rate for the nation is 34.4 per 100,000 population, in South Carolina it is 50.1. There are over 313,000 dementia caregivers in S.C. (2019 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures report).
Register for the Ugly Sweater 5K Dash by Dec. 12 at 5:59 p.m. for the 5K run/walk and pay $35 and $10 for the 1-mile stroll or $30 for a family of four. Registration and packet pickup will be noon to 6 p.m. on December 13 and from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on race day in St. Luke’s Fellowship Hall. Day-of registration for the 5K is $40. Day-of registration for the 1-mile stroll is $15 or $35 for a family of four.