We all know 2020 is one for the books, and the annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” looks just a little different this year.
In previous years, the walkers met at the Open Space in Traverse City to hear stories, honor loved ones, and begin the walk there. This year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided that each team would walk their own walk.
Help Support Old Mission Gazette - Click Here
That’s just what Gary’s Gang did. Named for Old Mission Peninsula farmer Gary Warren, who passed away at 63 from early onset Alzheimer’s, Gary’s Gang is composed of the Warren family, friends and supporters near and far.
We’re big fans of Warren Orchards and their “Between the Bays’ farm stands here on the OMP, and Gary’s wife Wendy is a passionate supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association and their annual walk, which raises funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
They walked from their farm on Island View Road, south on Center Road to a beautiful ridge on the home farm. Here they are on a damp Kelly Hill.
Here they are passing by the Kroupa’s winery, Peninsula Cellars, a big supporter of the team.
And here they are at “The Pothole,” the beautiful ridge where they ended the walk today.
From the Gary’s Gang Alzheimer’s donation page:
“We walk for Gary Warren. He was first and foremost a family man, but he was also proud of being a fourth generation fruit farmer here on Old Mission Peninsula. At age 63, Alzheimer’s disease took him from his family and his farm. Since it’s not safe for hundreds of walkers to gather together, each team will set their own route.
“Gary’s Gang will walk the two miles from the farm that was his home, where he raised his family, to one of his favorite spots on earth: The Pothole. It’s a ridge on the farm where he grew up. You can see both arms of Grand Traverse Bay from this glorious spot. Your participation in this fight will make a difference in so many lives. And thanks to a generous donor, each gift will be matched. So whatever you give; a dollar, five or more, will be doubled! Thank you for whatever you do, whether making a donation or supporting us in spirit. Together we will #endalz!”
If you’d like to make a donation, which as noted will be matched, click over to their Gary’s Gang Page.
Below are a few more photos of the gang and the farm’s lovely “Pothole,” where they ended the walk earlier today. This beautiful family would not be deterred by a little rain!
The sunflowers are in memory of sweet Penelope Joy Baker, Wendy’s granddaughter who passed away shortly after birth seven years ago this month.
This is truly one of the most beautiful spots on the Old Mission Peninsula, and I’m so honored to be able to take photos of the Warren family and their cherished land that Gary loved so much.
Also check out this great story about Gary’s Gang by Mardi Link in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.