8th Annual Memory Walk draws hundreds and raises thousands

This past Saturday morning, Oct. 13, the Blue Knights chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary hosted the Memory Walk at Doty Park. Despite the cold weather, over 200 walkers attended the event and raised close to $8,000 for the Alzheimer's Association of Rochester.

As a community service and recognition-based organization, NRHH partakes in many service projects throughout the year. This is the eighth year that Geneseo students have organized the walk, which has become a community service tradition for NRHH.

Ashley Jones, a senior and the NRHH community service coordinator, played a large role in organizing the event. Jones first contacted the Alzheimer's Association over the summer to begin the extensive planning for the walk. When she arrived on campus in August, she began contacting several groups on campus to encourage their participation in the event.

According to Jones, the best-represented groups at the walk were the Livonia girls' soccer team, Sigma Kappa sorority and Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. She also emphasized her appreciation for all the organizations involved, including sororities, fraternities and hall council groups. Jones' enthusiasm seemed contagious. "This event brings the college and the community closer together," she said. "They are able to work hard together to help fundraise to find a cure for a disease that is really hard to see others live with."

Before the walk began, participants enjoyed the music of Give My Regards, a band made up of Geneseo students. Donuts and drinks were provided for participants as they waited for the start. Walkers had two options - a longer course that was about three miles long, or a shorter version which was approximately two miles. Either way, the walk was as scenic as it was spirited. It was the perfect time of day in the perfect time of year, with chilly but tolerable weather and changing colors on the trees. The paths were marked with purple balloons and the walkers marched together as an intimate unit. When the walk ended, awards were given out to the individual and the team who raised the most amount of money, and goody bags were distributed to all.

Several NRHH members were present to help out. NRHH President Tom Johns, a junior, explained why this event was an important part of the organization. "As a leadership-based organization it is always important to set an example for others," said Johns. "This is a great opportunity for us to show people that every little bit counts."