The team I Walk for You, which will participate in October’s 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Peoria Metro, will begin its fundraising activities Aug. 25 by offering Pekinites a day of family-friendly activities.

The Central Illinois Cruisers will do their part to draw area residents to the Avanti’s Dome, 3401 Griffith Ave., by parking their hot rods and classic cars in the north lot, where local disk jockey Mike Tate will set an appropriate mood with a selection of 1950s music. In the south lot, at about noon, Ladder #1 truck from the Pekin Fire Department will arrive and park for an hour, allowing children an opportunity to meet firefighters and climb into the cab. A Kona Ice truck will pull in close to the fire truck for the convenience of thirsty residents. 

“All that is happening before you even open the front door to the Dome,” said Judy LePine, I Walk for You Publicity chairwoman. “Inside, imagine an over-sized football field. On that green turf are over 80 vendors offering their handmade items like jewelry, quilts, purses and artwork. And there will be direct sales or commercial dealers from make-up and clothing to essential oils.”

The event is billed as a vendor/craft/health fair benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition to vendors selling items ranging from vintage jewelry to fall crafts to new books, several health professionals will be on hand. The staff of the UnityPoint Health Methodist WellMobile will be set up to give free blood pressure and spirometry (lung function) checks and blood glucose/cholesterol screenings. An eight to 12-hour fast is required for the blood glucose/cholesterol tests and a finger prick is involved.

Entertainment will be awaiting residents enjoying the Cruise-In in the parking lot who decide to go inside the dome to cool off. Studio C Fitness members will begin the event with a dance routine. In a special area of the dome that I Walk for You members have dubbed “The Show Place,” magician Ryan Russell of Germantown Hills and ventriloquist Jared McClain of Metamora will perform throughout the event. For those wishing to discuss municipal government, Pekin Mayor John McCabe will be on hand in the afternoon to meet and greet visitors, as well as to invite dialogue with Pekinites on local issues. Author Robin Albright will attend the fundraiser to sell her book, “12 Tiny Well-Being Tips for Caregiving.”

“We will also have tables filled with items in our silent auction,” said LePine. “Right now, we have over 70 items, so surely there will be something for everyone. Many of the items were donated by area merchants, but also several gift baskets were put together by team members and donated in memory of loved ones who are either living with Alzheimer’s dementia or who have passed and had the disease.”

The event’s sponsors include Keystone Steel & Wire in Bartonville, Central Illinois Heating & Plumbing in Pekin, Henderson Funeral Home in Pekin and Leone’s Polaris in Peru. I Walk for You Team Chairwoman Sharon Gilbert has set a fundraising goal of $5,000. All proceeds will go toward research in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and to raise awareness of the disease’s impact on the lives of sufferers and their loved ones.

“For the past five months, our team has worked tirelessly to bring this event to the dome, where it offered us the space to put something this big together,” said Gilbert. “This is our first event of this kind, and (we) hope to make it an annual event (that will be) bigger and better. All money raised will go to Alzheimer’s research. Everyone on our team has had someone in their family touched by this dreaded disease, and we hope to find a cure before it hits our grandchildren.”

The vendor/craft/health fair will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/975835995875094.