Veterans complete second march to end Alzheimer's
By DAVID PANIAN | The Daily Telegram, Adrian, Mich. | Published: September 7, 2019
ADRIAN, Mich. (Tribune News Service) — For the second year, Army veterans Tim Welbaum and Scott Doney marched from Adrian to Ann Arbor to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association.
Last year, Welbaum, owner of Visiting Angels of South Central Michigan in Adrian, and Doney, the senior home care and living assistance provider's office director, raised $68,404 and were the top fundraising team in Michigan and 21st in the nation.
This year, they added three more marchers – Marines and Army veteran Brad Baker, Army veteran Cody Dilyard and Air Force veteran Josh Wood – and set a goal of $70,000.
"We added three more guys so we could talk more" on the 34.1-mile hike to Ann Arbor, Welbaum said as they prepared to leave.
Doney said they also added more flashlights to their gear, which they carried in 35- to 40-pound rucksacks. He said the first seven miles of the march along the Kiwanis Trail are very dark.
It's dark because they set out at 2 a.m. Friday from the Visiting Angels office on North Main Street. Welbaum said they had the route mapped and paced using GPS, timing it to arrive at the Alzheimer's Association Great Lakes chapter's office in Ann Arbor at 3:30 p.m. He said they arrived a little later than planned due to an unplanned media interview as they neared Ann Arbor.
Also along for the march was Welbaum's father, Tim Welbaum Sr., who drove a car stocked with drinks and snacks and to keep the marchers safe along the roads.
This year's march differed from last year's in that they had to deal with rain and more physical challenges.
"It was pretty painful," Welbaum said Friday afternoon by telephone. "Much more painful than last year. We're a year older."
One of the marchers suffered a knee cap injury, and another might have a broken foot, Welbaum said.
When they arrived at the Alzheimer's Association offices, there was a group of 30 to 40 people waiting to welcome them, Welbaum said. He's also on the Great Lakes chapter's board.
They had a surprise guest for the final eight miles of the march: sponsor Greg Gotham, an Edward Jones financial adviser in Adrian. Welbaum said Gotham is also a committee member for the Lenawee County Walk to End Alzheimer's.
Lenawee County has been very supportive of the senior community, veterans and Visiting Angels, Welbaum said. By Friday afternoon they had raised more than $20,000.
They will continue fundraising until Nov. 30. People can donate online at http://act.alz.org/goto/vetsmarch4alz or by mailing a check, made out to the Alzheimer's Association, to Visiting Angels, 235 N. Main St., Adrian, MI 49221.
They could get a large boost if they, like last year, end up being the top fundraising team among the Visiting Angels offices. The company's CEO, Larry Meigs, has pledged $35,000 toward the top team.
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