Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
" />
Published On: Sun, Nov 5th, 2023

Walking the mall for Caring Hearts  

By Marci Shatzman

You won’t hear gripes about getting up early to walk the still closed Town Center of Boca Raton mall Sunday morning to raise money for a center for people with memory loss and their families.

Supporters of Florida Atlantic University’s Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center, part of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing were happy to be there.

Wearing official walk T-shirts, teams and individuals committed to the cause posed for photos against a Keeping Memories Alive quilt.

“This walk helps us do what we need to do,” said Caring Hearts Auxiliary president Terry Fedele to open the 17th annual “Keep Memories Alive” walk-in-the-mall fundraiser.

Shoutouts went to Christine E. Lynn, always there to cut the ribbon to officially start the walk, and the namesake Greens “who made such a generous gift in 2004 we can never thank them enough,” Fedele said.

“We’re committed to making a difference,” said the walk’s co-chair Jay Whelchel, whose family held photos of his mother, former Mayor Susan Whelchel. Last year’s event was dedicated to her memory following her valiant battle with Alzheimer’s disease. “Her legacy continues. We’ve raised almost $75,000 for this journey of hope and compassion for those who need it the most,” he told the assembled crowd.

“This year’s theme is ‘Planting Seeds for Memory and Wellness,’ in observance of past and present challenges that individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families have faced,” announced co-chair and board member Patricia Liehr, professor emeritus in the College of Nursing. That explained why so many teams and children were sporting green spiral headbands.

Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer and Council member Fran Nachlas presented a proclamation and named the day in honor of the center. “So many lives are touched by this terrible disease, we hope by next year we’ll find a cure,” Singer said.

Among the longtime supporters was Patricia Thomas, the first auxiliary president. “People tell their friends they’re taking classes,” Thomas said. In fact, artwork by people who attend the center was displayed on easels around a fountain.

FAU people were out in force for the walk, including college of nursing dean Safiya George, and a team led by library dean Linda Marie Golian-Liu.

“Our goal is to ensure that we eliminate any waiting lists for individuals and families in need as soon as possible,” said Maria de los Angeles Ortega, associate dean of clinical practice and the center’s director. She plans to use the funds raised to expand the center’s programs and services. Increased government funding will help eliminate a waiting list and bring the center back to capacity, she said in an interview.

About the Author

%d bloggers like this: