On Saturday, August 31, the Hope Hospice team arrived early in downtown St. Louis to honor and support the participants in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Hope Hospice community liaison Sarah Bilbrey designed and, with a huge assist from her father Curt, made the Memory Wall for walkers to sign. When the six sections of the wall were erected, it made an impressive sight.
The Hope team of staff members and volunteers iced down hundreds of bottles of water to hand out on this hot morning. Several hundred pounds of ice were ground into sno-cone ice. Bottles filled with syrup to flavor the sno-cones were set up.
The team was ready. A DJ played music that echoed around the intersection of 18th and Olive, near the White Knight diner. Barricades blocked the street of vehicular traffic. The Hope Hospice staging area was at the approximate halfway mark of the walk, which was to begin and end at Busch Stadium.
The first walkers were expected to arrive around 9:20. But by 9:40, not one walker was to be seen. Had walk officials told people to opt for the shorter one-mile walk because of the heat? Had walkers chosen not to walk because of the heat? No, they just got a late start due to remarks before the walk began.
Within a few minutes, here they came! An initial trickle, followed by a bigger group, then finally a large crush of walkers. They were happy to see the Hope team handing out bottled water. Walkers of all ages went for the sno-cones.
Most gratifying though, was the number of walkers who took a moment to sign the Memory Wall and share their thoughts about their family members and friends who have suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. When Hope Hospice team members read some of the sentiments left behind, they were moved to tears.
We at Hope Hospice thank the Alzheimer’s Association for the opportunity to participate. We also thank all those who walked and especially those who signed the Memory Wall.
For information about Hope Hospice, please call 314-984-9800. Or visit HopeHospiceSTL.com.