Marie McLaughlin has been with the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter for the past 3 1/2 years. She was recently promoted to the Director of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. As a successful Dayton Walk to End Alzheimer’s team captain turned staff member, Marie has a plethora of knowledge when it comes to successful fundraising. Read more:
1. What is your favorite thing about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s?
I really love the Promise Garden ceremony. No matter where I am on Walk Day, I try to go to the stage to see all of those flowers raised. It is then that you realize how many lives are affected by this horrible disease, and everyone realizes that they are not fighting this battle alone. I haven’t made it through a ceremony yet without tears.
2. Why did you first become involved with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s?
My mother suffered with dementia for 3 years prior to her death. I realized that I wanted to help prevent others from going through what we had to go through. I joined the Walk in 2008 and I really enjoyed fundraising. I lost my job at SuperValu after 23 years that year, so I really found some purpose in my life again. I started volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association in 2010 and was hired part time in 2012.
3. What is the primary way you raise your money for your Walk Team?
I just ask my friends, neighbors, and family for donations. I send out a letter through the mail to anyone I don’t have emails for, and have had a lot of luck with that. I also send numerous emails and email reminders after I send my initial ask.
4. If you had to give one piece of advice to a new Walk Team Captain, what would it be?
Don’t overthink fundraising. You don’t need to do an event to raise money. The best way that I found to raise money is to just ASK my friends,family, neighbors, and church members for donations. Every year they get a request and almost every year they will give a donation.
5. Finally, what do you like to do in your free time?
Free time?? I work for the Alzheimer’s Association! If I had free time, I would spend it reading, walking, and playing golf!