Pilot Club holds Alzheimer’s walk


Mineola Pilot Club held its annual Alzheimer’s walk on Nov. 7 at the Mineola Civic Center. Even rain did not dampen the spirits of about 50 participants who gathered in support of Alzheimer’s awareness.

Three of the winning groups included Jordan Saxon’s team in the education division, Mineola Heights Healthcare walkers in the health division, and MHS Anchor Club walkers in the service club division.

After the walk, supporters gathered for a candlelight memorial ceremony honoring friends and relatives who have passed away from the disease. Connie Cobbs, marketing director at Mineola Heights Healthcare and Heritage Nursing Home in Quitman, gave an inspiring speech and read encouraging quotes. 

“Everyone knows the information on Alzheimer’s, but I want to support and encourage the caretakers of Alzheimer’s victims,” said Cobbs.

The Mineola Pilot club has sponsored the walk for 25 years, and most walkers participate because they have experienced the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s with family or friends. The disease, usually occurring in middle to old age, is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to degenerate. A continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills disrupt a person’s ability to function independently. Two out of three senior citizens die with some sort of dementia, with Alzheimer’s about 70% of those cases. 

The focus of Pilot International is brain health and safety. The Mineola, Quitman and Winnsboro  Pilot clubs sponsor Project Lifesaver in partnership with Wood County Sheriff’s Department.

Project Lifesaver is a community based, public safety, non-profit organization that provides law enforcement, fire and rescue, and caregivers with equipment and technology to locate individuals who are prone to wandering.

The Mineola Pilot Club also sponsors an Alzheimer’s support group, plays bingo in the local nursing homes, and teaches brain health through puppets at the Mineola Primary School.