HOLDEN, Mass. — For the last eight years, Sunnyside Ford in Holden has raised thousands of dollars for the annual Walk To End Alzheimer’s in Worcester, with a team walking each year in memory of former Sunnyside owner Daniel Harrington Jr.
Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness of the disease and fund care, support and research.
In Worcester, the Alzheimer’s walk will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at Quinsigamond Community College.
The Sunnyside Ford team, DANSFANS, has already raised $12,000 for the cause this year.
“We created the team in honor of my father, and now walk in his memory,” said Mary Ann McGrain, captain of the team.
Friday was Alzheimer’s Action day, and to spread awareness for the walk, the team at Sunnyside proudly wore purple. The team also has been selling purple forget-me-not flowers for $1 each to further support the effort.
DANSFANS team members predict that about 40 people will join them for the walk. Together with hundreds of other supporters, they hope to take steps toward eliminating Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research.
“Once Alzheimer’s touches you intimately, you can see how we have got to find a cure,” said team member Susan DiNoia. “Everybody you talk to, there’s someone in their family or somebody they know with Alzheimer’s.”
The walk will also feature a Promise Garden, in which symbolic flowers are planted to commemorate loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
Harrington took over Sunnyside Ford from his father, and was known as a very giving person who was deeply involved in the Holden community.
“He was a great guy,” said McGrain. “You name the committee, he was on it. He donated cars to Worcester Tech, Assumption and the Red Cross. He gave so much to the community, and this is what we can do in his memory to honor him.”
To further help DANSFANS team members raise money to fight Alzheimer’s, members of the community can join the walk or make a donation by visiting the team page.