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Betty Solum - St. Anthony's Memory Makers
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Betty Solum, (seated front row right) and the St. Anthony's Memory Makers 2011 Walk Team

Ask Betty Solum to describe her involvement with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and her answer will reveal that you have probably just met the most humble woman in Kenosha County.   “When I see something that needs to be done, I try to help do it,” said Betty.   “But I don’t feel like I’m doing that much.” 

 
Since 2004, Betty has been the brains and brawn behind St. Anthony’s Memory Makers, a Walk team hailing from St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Kenosha.  In the eight years the team has participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, they have raised an amazing $22,587.00. In 2009, Memory Makers raised a team best of $4,115.00, taking possession of a coveted traveling trophy.  And while Betty won’t take much credit herself for this outcome, she will congratulate church parishioners, saying “The response has been really nice, from the people that walk, from the people at church who donate and from donations our walkers receive from friends and family who are not church members.”


Although she is incredibly modest about her achievements, Betty clearly has a passion to end Alzheimer’s, a disease that has plagued the lives of several family members including her husband, her brother, her mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law.  Betty’s husband Gerald died from the disease in 2005, at age 73, the year after she started the Walk team.  He lived with the disease for more than five years.  “This is kind of a mission for me,” Betty said, “and having had this experience with Alzheimer’s disease, if I can do anything to help anyone, I will.”


Betty has chaired the church’s Walk for all eight years, and has walked in every event but one.  That was the year she travelled to attend a family wedding.  And at age 83, Betty will lead the group once again this year.  She plans to do most of her team recruitment in August.  “I’ll invite previous walkers, put up a recruitment poster at church that features pictures from previous walks, and ask people to sponsor our walkers,” she said.   “I think it is outstanding that we’ve been able to have a team every year.  More and more people are becoming aware of Alzheimer’s, and that makes them even more willing to help when they can.”


 

Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.