Walk Aware challenge

Find-M’ Friends Vice President Bridget Didsbury, left, and Find-M’ Friends President Linda Boles, right, challenge all teams that have signed up for the 2019 Citrus Walk Aware for Alzheimer’s to try to take away their Mary Blair Darling Award.

Find-M’ Friends, the winner of the Mary Blair Darling Award for sponsoring the largest team of walkers at the 2018 Citrus Walk Aware for Alzheimer’s, has issued a challenge to other organizations in Citrus County to try to take away their trophy at the upcoming 2019 Walk. The event, which benefits the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Family Organization (AFO), will take place in Floral City on Saturday, Oct. 19.

In its short history, the Citrus County Alzheimer’s Walk has generated an intense rivalry between Find-M’ Friends, a nonprofit organization that raises and trains bloodhounds for search and rescue, and Home Instead, a Lecanto-based home healthcare provider.

At the inaugural Walk in 2017, Home Instead sponsored the top team with 27 walkers. Competition became intense in 2018 when Home Instead sponsored 48 walkers, but Find-M’ Friends edged them out with 49. To honor their efforts, the AFO created the Mary Blair Darling rotating plaque, which was awarded to Find-M’ Friends. Darling is a retired Florida State Ombudsman who worked to raise standards of care at assisted living and memory care facilities throughout the region.

Find-M’ Friends President Linda Boles has now challenged Home Instead, or any other team sponsor in Citrus County, to take away the plaque, stating, “We will be doing our best to win again this year, but we invite anyone and everyone to take this award from us because raising money for the AFO is what this challenge is all about.”

The fee to enter the walk is $25, but teams entering ten or more walkers at the same time will receive a five-dollar discount from each entry fee.

The principal organizer and lead sponsor for the event is the Inverness-based Coping with Dementia LLC. For more information about how to participate, call Debbie Selsavage at 352-422-3663. To register walkers and walking teams online, or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, go to www.alzheimersfamily.org/walkaware.

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