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Lifelong member of Pavilion Baptist Church still does all she can to combat Alzheimer's on family's behalf

By Virginia Kropf

The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday Oct. 3 will have much more meaning to people in Pavilion this year.

Not only will participants be walking to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s disease and raise money to combat it, but this will be a great family event, for young and old alike, according to organizer Sam MacAllister, pastor of the Pavilion Baptist Church.

The church’s involvement came about because of Linda Starkey, a lifelong member of the church, whose mother and brother were affected by the disease.

“This is my fourth year of being involved in the Alzheimer’s Walk,” Starkey said. “I turned 80 in July, and I walk with a walker, but I still participate. It is very important to me that we find a cure.”

Last year Starkey walked in Batavia with 250 other walkers, but because of COVID-19 this year, the walk can’t be done that way.

“We are all walking in our own communities, and here in Pavilion, my pastor is coordinating everything,” Starkey said. 

“This seemed like the perfect event to get the community back together after this pandemic,” Pastor MacAllister said. “We will distribute water and snacks in a safe way.”

The pastor said he was thrilled with Starkey’s dedication and happy to support her cause.

“This is a really important cause for her,” MacAllister said. “She tries to build her strength ahead of time. She has a very youthful spirit and is highly determined. Her friends are doing everything to keep her safe and see that she succeeds.”

Starkey’s friend Pat Wolcott has committed to walk with her, and they welcome anyone to join their team. Participants may donate to the cause, but it is not necessary.

MacAllister has chosen a route through town on streets with sidewalks, so everyone will be safe. The walk will begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 3 at the gazebo in the town park.

Participants may sign up on the website at, but it is not required.

Photo: Linda Starkey, right, and her friend Pat Wolcott will be walking Oct. 3 in an Alzheimer’s Walk in Pavilion. Starkey, who turned 80 in July, is passionate about supporting the cause, as both her mother and brother were stricken with Alzheimer’s. Photo by Virginia Kropf.

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