The energy was high and Rentschler Field was filled with pride and purpose at the Greater Hartford Walk to End Alzheimer's on Sunday.
Walkers walked with enthusiasm and great conviction.
"I feel so supported today," said Lisa Marshall, of Andover.
"Amazing, everybody's just all in," added Aileen Kennedy, of Kensington.
With over 80,000 people in Connecticut impacted by this disease, this annual event brings together people from different walks of life who share one common goal -- to raise awareness and fight against Alzheimer's.
"I think people all have a passion for whatever it might be. It could be because you are a caregiver, because you lost somebody you love," said Laura Falt, of Cromwell.
"People want to be back in person and they want to feel the energy," added Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Connecticut Chapter Ginny Hanbridge.
With groups of walkers making their way around the stadium, this year marked the first in-person walk since 2019. Participants experienced a bit of a change.
"Our tents are spread out, we don’t have a bunch of big tents. We’re asking people to keep that social distancing of six feet apart. We have hand sanitizer stations all around. We’re doing a lot of touch less registration," said Hanbridge.
Marshall has raised over $50,000 to raise awareness, but also has donated her life to the cause after her husband was diagnosed with early onset dementia. She described what it is like to be a caregiver, but also wants to give hope to others.
"It’s exhausting and if I could say something to caregivers is that you can’t do this alone," she said.
"I always say it’s the the A’s --you have to accept when people ask what they can do. You have to ask for help if they’re not offering and articulate exactly what you need," Marshall said.