IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer's Saugeen Shores - Honoree Story
June Fotherby loves her hometown of Southampton. She worked hard for years to improve and promote it. If you have ever been to Heritage Days or the Summer Shindig than you have benefitted from June’s hard work and commitment.
Penny Gingrich, her daughter, says, “Mom never drove, so we were always taking her to things. She loved being part of the community and as a family we’ve always been right there with her.”
This idea of community has stuck with Penny and it is why she made it her mother’s day wish for her family to take part in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s three years ago. Penny says that she “wanted to keep bringing people together and to raise awareness about dementia.” June’s Bugs (her family’s team name) have been attending the event ever since.
Each year the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s happens on Mother’s Day weekend in the Grey-Bruce region. This date helps to acknowledge that 65% of people over the age of 65 who are diagnosed with dementia are women. Our sisters, our grandmothers, and our mothers.
Penny knows this reality well as her mom was diagnosed with dementia around 2014. June, or Mrs. Southampton as some have called her, worked as a bookkeeper late into her 70s, but when the books stopped balancing it was a signal that something might be happening.
A visit to the doctor confirmed what they suspected. The family says looking back there were other earlier signs, but at the time dementia was not on their radar. Memory loss is the most well known symptom of dementia, but there are others including changes in mood or personality, loss of initiative, and difficulty performing familiar tasks.
After some time had gone by the family connected with the local Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce. Just some information at first, but than they established a deeper connection with their support counselor. Penny emphasized, “She’s just amazing. Always there, always returned my calls, and followed up with us which was just so wonderful.” Members of the family attended support groups, went to educational learning series, and even had an in-home family visit all without any cost.
“The Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce is always there to help. It’s very well run,” says Penny. She wants people to know “Reaching out for help, for advice, and support is the best thing you can do. Whether it is from friends or professionals look for support.”
June’s Bugs continue to fundraise and to raise awareness about dementia. Penny says, “There are lots of prominent people from this community living with dementia. There’s much more awareness now than there was ten years ago, but we still need more.” This year June’s Bugs will the honoree team for the Saugeen Shores event.
The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s supports local people living with dementia. It is the largest fundraiser for the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce, an organization that supports more than 1,000 local families living with dementia in Bruce and Grey Counties. All funds raised will stay local to support programs and services.
This year’s event in Saugeen Shores is on the Fairy Lake Trail near the Bruce County Museum. Joseph J Entertainment will be playing music, there will be face painting, apple cider from Smith’s Apples, and more.
Walks will also take place across Grey-Bruce in the Town of Blue Mountains, Hanover, and Owen Sound. Come out and join in raising awareness and funds on May 11. You can register that morning starting at 9:00 (walk begins at 10:00am) or you can register online at alzgiving.ca/saugeenshores or contact the office at (519) 376-7230.
Owen Sound: alzgiving.ca/owensound
Saugeen Shores: alzgiving.ca/saugeenshores
Town of the Blue Mountains: alzgiving.ca/bluemountains