Lifelong Nelson resident and machinist Bob Hawes couldn’t walk down the street without someone stopping him to chat. They often asked for assistance with everything from repairing bear traps to building ski lifts.
According to his family, most of the time you could find him in his garage repairing something.
This year Hawes is the honouree for the Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s in Nelson. It will be held Sunday, May 1 with the theme “make memories matter.”
Hawes was born in Nelson and grew up only blocks from where he would later raise his own family. He and wife Betty had four children — three of them still live here — plus four grandchildren and one great grandchild.
The only job he held lasted 41 years: working at Acklands-Grainger, as a machinist and manager. His knowledge and expertise were sought and respected by many people in the community. His garage was always open to others, his family says, and he helped many young people start new businesses.
Prior to the disease, Hawes loved to hunt, fish, ski, snowmobile, ATV and pick huckleberries.
“Memories make us who we are,” said walk chair Simon Grypma, whose own family has been touched by Alzheimer’s. “When you walk, you honour those who have passed and support our work to provide help and hope to those living with the disease today.”
The retired fire chief encourages participation because “everyone will be touched by dementia, whether it’s a relative, a friend or someone in your community. You can make a difference.”
Individuals and teams are welcome. Funds raised support programs and services in the community that improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and for their families and support other activities such as education and public awareness initiatives.
Registration takes place at 10 a.m. under the Rotary shelter in Lakeside Park and the walk begins at 11 a.m. Funds raised will support families living with dementia.
There are currently 747,000 people with Alzheimer’s in Canada, with 70,000 in BC alone. That number is expected to nearly double in the next 20 years, as age is the biggest risk factor and people are living longer.
For more information visit walkforalzheimers.ca or contact Grypma at 250-551-0462.