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2016 Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The 2016 Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s was by far the most successful to date, raising over $95,750 to support Alzheimer’s Association® initiatives, which include Alzheimer’s care and research, and raising awareness of this devastating disease.

This was the 6th annual Walk hosted and sponsored by McKee Homes in Fayetteville, NC and second year the Walk was held at JP Riddle Stadium, home of the Swamp Dogs minor league baseball team.

Over 1,100 people showed up to support the 2016 Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s . Thanks to all the volunteers and staff that helped the event run smoothly. There were 125 teams signed up for the Walk this year.

Julie Russo and Pat McKee of McKee Homes started the first Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s in 2011. Since then the Fayetteville Walks have raised approximately $350,000. Julie Russo describes organizing the Walk as “throwing a party for 1,000 of her closest friends.” A job she does not take lightly.
2016 Walk Photo Gallery
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Helping Hits Home

Pat McKee, of McKee Homes, is all too familiar with the impact Alzheimer’s has on those who have the disease as well as their loved ones. Pat’s father, Joe, succumbed after a ten-year battle with this devastating disease. While Joe McKee had a long and successful career in business, he also built personal homes for his family. Alzheimer’s robbed him of his dream of one day becoming a builder. When Pat McKee and his brother, Mike, formed McKee Homes – to focus on building homes at The Cottages at North Ramsey and throughout the Fayetteville area – they dedicated the company to the memory of their father.

The McKee family – Pat, Mike and their mother, Shirley – wanted to do more to honor a beloved father and husband. In the hope that one day other families may not have to face the heartbreak wreaked by Alzheimer’s, they established the Joe McKee Memorial Alzheimer Fund. A percentage of every home sale by McKee Homes goes into this fund to support Alzheimer’s research and care. In addition, the McKees work closely with the Eastern North Carolina Service Area of the Alzheimer’s Association®, supporting efforts such as the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

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McKee Homes Donates $30,000 to Alzheimer’s Association

mckee homes donates to alzheimer's association

McKee Homes sponsored the Fayetteville Chamber’s Business After Hours event at Marquis Market in downtown Fayetteville Thursday evening, Feb. 25 at 5:30 pm. The Business After Hours event brings together many local residents, professionals and business owners from the Fayetteville area for a popular networking event.

Pat McKee, President of McKee Homes and President of the Home Builders Association of Fayetteville, along with wife Julie Russo who is VP of Human Resources at McKee Homes, presented the Alzheimer’s Association® with a promotional check for $30,000 which covers all the donations made in 2015 by McKee Homes. Lisa Roberts, Executive Director, Eastern North Carolina Chapter Alzheimer’s Association, accepted the check at the Business After Hours event. From 2011 to 2016, McKee Homes has donated approximately $135,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association® through the Joe McKee Memorial Alzheimer’s Fund.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association® website at alz.org®, North Carolina is home to more than 160,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and half a million unpaid caregivers. The Eastern North Carolina Chapter is responsible for providing programs and support services, information, referral, education and advocacy to the 51 counties of Eastern North Carolina.

“Our mission is to utilize our resources and good fortune to support the Alzheimer’s cause in the greater Fayetteville, Wilmington and Raleigh areas by raising awareness of this devastating disease, supporting initiatives of the Alzheimer’s Association® and helping fund Alzheimer’s care and research,” said Pat McKee.

The Business After Hours event was well attended with great food and door prizes given away by McKee Homes.

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Being an AEDA Champion

Just 2 months until the Walk!

McKee Homes is an Alzheimer’s Association Early Detection Alliance (AEDA) Champion.  So what does an AEDA champion do and why is early detection so important?  According to the Alzheimer’s Association®:

AEDA Champions are:

  • A reliable source of Alzheimer’s information for those who need help.
  • A vehicle to increase awareness of the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • A positive force to improve the health of your company, organization or community.
  • A part of a nationwide network of organizations that are addressing the Alzheimer’s crisis.
  • A leader in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Why Early Detection Matters
Early detection of Alzheimer’s is important for both individuals at risk and those who are caregivers for family members. Most people do not know when forgetting becomes a serious health problem. By putting off learning more, people impacted by Alzheimer’s disease are being diagnosed too late and miss the opportunity to get the best help possible.

Ten early warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks.
  4. Confusion with time or place.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
  7. Misplacing things and loosing the ability to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or pour judgment.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  10. Changes in mood and personality.
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Helping Kids Understand Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s has affected my family very deeply.  In the Spring of 2010, my husband lost his father to this disease.  His mom was his father’s primary caregiver.  She shared very little of what she experienced, but when she did share her deep love and compassion for her husband was evident.

Alzheimer’s doesn’t make sense to adults, so how can we explain it to kids?  We can’t answer their questions about “how” and “why.”  We can’t tell them that we won’t get it.  We can’t tell them how to prevent it.  We can’t tell them that there is medicine to take for it.  What we can do is show them that we have the power in us to change some of these “can’ts” to “cans.”  

2012 Walk to End Alzheimer's

My husband and I have hosted the Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the past two years.  All four of our children have participated in this event.  Last year, they wrote and performed a song about Alzheimer’s.  They also made duct tape wallets, koozies and magnets and gave them away to people who made a small donation to the Alzheimer’s Association®. 

We talk to them about how some of the money we raise goes to research that will help scientists better understand this disease and eventually find a cure.  We talk about the caregivers who are able to attend support group meetings that help them better care for their loved ones.  We explain that years ago people got sick and died from diseases that now have cures.

Really, children and adults want the same thing.  They want hope.  They want to make a difference.  They want to feel like they are part of something bigger then themselves. 

The Alzheimer’s Associations® created a video you can share with your children and teens to educate them about this disease.

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The 2013 Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s

“The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.”

Walk to End Alzheimer's

The 2013 Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held at 9:00am on Sept. 7 at Liberty Hills, which is in the Kings Grant subdivision.  This walk is organized and run entirely by volunteers.   These awesome volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure that the Walk is a huge success.

Coldwell Banker Advantage and McKee Homes are hosting a Corporate Breakfast at 8:00am on June 21 at the Dream Center.  During this event, guests will enjoy a delicious breakfast and hear about how your corporate team can join us in the fight against the sixth leading cause of death in America, Alzheimer’s.

For more information about the Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s or the Corporate Breakfast, please contact Julie at (910) 475-7100, ext. 701.

Sponsorship information and signup form

By Julie Russo

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