ken wenner photo

Pat Wagner (left), Rocco’s Team captain, is pictured with Ken Wenner of Defiance who walked nearly 25 miles to raise funds for Alzheimer’s awareness.

Ken Wenner of Defiance County walked 24.87 miles, 50,722 steps in nearly eight hours at the Ayersville High School track on June 17 and raised $1,500 to help raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter and the 2022 Black Swamp Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Wenner is the son-in-law of local resident Pat Wagner, team captain of Rocco’s Team, named in honor of her father who she cared for during his 14-year journey with Alzheimer’s. Wagner has been a dedicated volunteer with the chapter for many years, according to the Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter based in Toledo.

“We are so proud of all Ken does each year, but this year, we believe he went above and beyond in his personal challenge and the effort he made,” said Wagner. “His daughter, Macie Wenner, took one for the family and hopped in on many laps to keep her dad’s spirits up so he could make it happen. His wife, Lori provided tons of drinks and nourishing food throughout the day.”

During his walk efforts, Wenner raised $1,500 that will go toward the Black Swamp Walk to End Alzheimer’s, scheduled for Sept., 10 at Defiance’s Triangle Park. The 2022 fundraising goal is $41,000.

“I walked to honor my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, Jeff Sager, who died from early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 63, and my best friend’s mother, Donna Everhart, who also died from Alzheimer’s,” said Wenner. “I’ll keep up my fundraising efforts through the day of the Black Swamp Walk.”

Area residents can visit to sign up as a team captain, join a team or register to walk as an individual.

Participants are encouraged to download the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app to make their experience easier.

Nationwide there are an estimated 6.5 million individuals living with Alzheimer’s and over 11 million family and friends who provide unpaid care for them, according to the Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter. It noted that Alzheimer’s disease is a leading cause of death in the United States and kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Additionally, more than 11 million family members and friends provide unpaid care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness that allows the Northwest Ohio Chapter to provide free educational programs and services locally, and also funds for Alzheimer’s research globally.

The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

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