Merrimack resident raises awareness for Alzheimer’s

MERRIMACK – Laura Patnaude, of Merrimack, will participate in the Alzheimer’s Association Central New Hampshire Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Arms Park in Manchester.

In 2013, Patnaude took an internship at the New Hampshire office for the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter. While working to help plan that year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s events in New Hampshire, her grandmother was diagnosed.

"I have seen the benefit of donor dollars from working for the association, especially after speaking to those in need of the association’s services," Patnaude said.

Since her internship with the Alzheimer’s Association, Patnaude remained involved in raising awareness by continuing to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. As a participant in the Miss America program, Patnaude also took on Alzheimer’s awareness as her platform.

"Since making this my platform, I not only have the opportunity to speak out about Alzheimer’s, the association and its events at every competition, but I get to create my own promotional events," said Patnaude, who has partnered with a local high school to hold an Alzheimer’s awareness basketball game with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association.

She has also taken on a "flocking" fundraiser.

"In this fundraiser, I have placed pink flamingos on lawns, and the only way to have them removed is to donate to the walk," Patnaude said.

To date, Patnaude and her team, the N.H. Strutters, have raised more than $500 for the 2016 event.

"When you have Alzheimer’s in your personal life, it is so easy to feel like you’re in a tunnel that never ends," Patnaude said. "But when you’re at the walk with so many people who have experienced the same thing and you don’t have to explain any of the details, it’s uplifting."

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

"We are grateful to each person who makes a commitment to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s by participating, volunteering or making a donation," said Jim Wessler, president/CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter. "The funds raised will provide support to people impacted by Alzheimer’s, while also contributing to the research that is critical to putting an end to this disease."

For information or to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, call 1-800-272-3900 or visit

Submitted by Alzheimer’s Association,
Hampshire chapter