Connie Lesko knows just how difficult it can be to watch as loved ones deal with the effects of Alzheimer’s, having watched it happen to both of her parents. It was both of her parents and her job at Freedom Plaza, a retirement community in Ruskin, that inspired her to help re-launch the annual Walk To End Alzheimer’s in Sun City Center.

“When I first started work at Freedom Plaza, there hadn’t been a Walk for years; however, Freedom Plaza was very open to the idea of getting back involved and soon started working closely with the Alzheimer’s Association,” Lesko said.

For the last three years Lesko participated in various roles to help promote the Walk and this year she is chairperson of the event. “I’m very passionate about it because I want to find a cure. I don’t ever want my children or grandchildren to have to navigate the road that my family did with my parents,” she said.

This Fourth Annual Walk To End Alzheimer’s will take place on Saturday, October 6, and will start at Sun City Center United Methodist Church. Vendors have the chance to set up their tables between 7:30-8 a.m. and the walk officially starts at 9 a.m.

“It really is a fun event,” said Lesko. “Everyone gets very excited about getting involved. Once the walk wraps up at about 10:15 a.m., there are food and beverages for participants to enjoy, there’s a DJ and dancing as well as awards given to those who raised the most money for the cause.”

The event, which is held annually in more than 600 communities across the nation, calls on participants of all ages and abilities to help reclaim the future for those effected by the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association Website, the goal of the Walk is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance and support those affected and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

For those interested in registering as a group or an individual to participate in the Walk To End Alzheimer’s at Sun City Center, visit For more information on the event, e-mail Lesko at

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