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story.lead_photo.caption Members of Team Roehl and Friends walk in a neighborhood off Constitution Drive during Sunday's Walk to End Alzheimer's. Photo by Gerry Tritz / News Tribune.

Sunday's Walk to End Alzheimer's wasn't the big spectacle that it normally is, with hundreds of people wearing purple shirts, carrying colorful flowers and walking together, united against Alzheimer's.

Instead, because of the pandemic, the 60-plus teams composed of 500 individuals spread out throughout the city. They walked in different places, but all for the same goal.

Among them was Team Roehl and Friends, which met in a neighborhood off Constitution Drive and walked around the block.

"Alzheimer's and dementia are not a natural part of aging and shouldn't be something we look forward to as we grow older," said Christina Roehl, the captain of Team Roehl and Friends.

She also served this year as the walk chairwoman and the organizer of World Alzheimer's Day in September.

Her late mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2015, and Roehl started as a walker four years ago.

"I suddenly realized my grandpa also had this. But we didn't talk about it back then," she said.

The fundraising goal of this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's in Jefferson City is $100,000.

"It's going to be a tough, tough year with the pandemic, the floods, the tornado," she said.

She said she's confident they'll raise $50,000, and she hopes to hit $60,000.

"It's difficult to get the excitement level up with virtual (events)," she said. "But shining a light on it is the only way to bring it to the forefront — to get government funding, which fuels research and" then finding a cure as the end goal.

Joining Team Roehl on Sunday were small teams from Central Bank, Trinity Lutheran School and Jefferson Bank.

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