To raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s research and to honor his grandfather who is slowly succumbing to the disease, David Sweitzer, 24, of Bristol, has traversed the mountainous peaks of eight states on his Walk to Remember, a 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail through-hike to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
Sweitzer set out on his Georgia-to-Maine trek March 26, just a few days after his 24th birthday. He has been keeping a good pace since then, and now expects to reach the end of the trail in early August.
He is making the benefit hike in honor of his grandfather, Nathan Sweitzer, an 86-year-old Air Force veteran whom he helped care for at his parents’ home in Bristol following his graduation from college.
His fundraising goal is $15,000, which will go to the Alzheimer’s Association through this year’s Tri-Cities Walk to End Alzheimer’s coming up Oct. 4 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
He recently passed the New York state line and the $13,500 mark in fundraising. And with just five states and roughly 700 miles to go, his goal is squarely within reach.
“We’re getting really close, and there’s still a good bit of time left to donate,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday from somewhere north of Greenwood Lake, N.Y., where he came down from the trail with a group of 25 hikers earlier in the week to watch the U.S. play in the World Cup soccer tournament.
Now zeroing in on his personal goal, Sweitzer’s hope is that the money he raises will help bring a promising breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research.
“I hope we surpass it,” he said of his $15,000 goal.
Those who wish to help can donate to his Walk to Remember online at alz.org/walk by clicking on “Find a Walk Near You,” entering any Tri-Cities area zip code, typing David Sweitzer in the “Find a Walker” search box and clicking on his name.
To keep up with his progress and to take a look at the amazing vistas and details he’s capturing in photographs along the trail, search for David Sweitzer on Facebook.
While his photographs are awesome, Sweitzer said, “Just pictures can’t really add up to all that’s up here.”
In addition the opportunity to contribute on Sweitzer’s behalf through the Alzheimer’s Association Walk page, tax-deductible donations to his walk can also be made by mail to the local Alzheimer’s Association office at 207 N. Boone St., Suite 25, Johnson City, TN 37604.
Checks should be made payable to the Alzheimer’s Association and earmarked for “David Sweitzer/Walk to Remember.”
The Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House is lining up golfers, golf teams and sponsors for its annual benefit Tennessee Golf Classic coming up Aug. 11 at Johnson City Country Club.
In conjunction with this year’s tournament, a live auction of a golf package for two players to take part in the Lexus Champions for Charity National Championship to be played Dec. 10-14 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Links at Spanish Bay and Spyglass Hill Golf Course will be held at 1 p.m. Aug. 11 at the country club.
The package include three days of play in the amateurs-only, best-ball tournament and all meals. Airfare and accommodations are not included. The bidding will begin at $5,000. Bidders must be present or have a proxy representative stand in for them at the auction in order to participate.
Two tournament tee times are available at 8:30 and 1:30 p.m. To register to play or for more information about sponsorship opportunities or the Lexus Champions for Charity National Championship auction, contact the Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House at 975-5437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at email@example.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335. Follow Sue Guinn Legg on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.