It's an event that I'm proud to be a part of every year, and it's just days away.

On stage at the Walk to End Alzheimer's in 2014. (Laurie Cataldo)

Join me this weekend as we Walk to End Alzheimer's.

It's been an interesting and complicated year for those who have been involved with the New Jersey chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

Late last year, the national association voted to consolidate local chapters and basically just create one large national charity with a sole governing body.

The leadership of the one-time New Jersey chapter disagreed with how the national organization was using the money sent to them by the local chapters, and disaffiliated. They have since formed a new charity called Alzheimer's New Jersey.

It put people like me in an odd position, not knowing which organization to go with. (It's like when two people stand on opposite sides of a room and call a puppy's name to see who it will go to.)

Ultimately, I decided to continue supporting the Alzheimer's Association. Their main focus is raising money to find a cure for the disease, while still supporting and advocating for patients and families. (Alternatively, Alzheimer's NJ is more focused on patient care and advocacy, while still supporting finding a cure.)

I can't say that one is clearly better or worse, and it wasn't easy to make the choice, but I felt more comfortable supporting the national organization. I encourage you to truly research both organizations (and any charity you support, really) to find out where your money is going and to make sure it aligns with your values.

Should you find the Alzheimer's Association meets your standards, I encourage you to join us this Saturday for the Walk to End Alzheimer's in Bradley Beach.

We'll be at 5th and Ocean Ave. with registration starting at 8:30 a.m., Promise Garden ceremony at 9:45 a.m., and the walk kicking off at 10 a.m.

With Grandma Fran at my college graduation in May 2007. (Laurie Cataldo)

I have been a part of the organization and fundraising walk for several years now, walking in memory of my Grandma Fran, who died from dementia-related complications in 2008.

I'm honored to be serving as the walk's special guest speaker again, and will do my best not to cry through the whole thing this time around!

I encourage you to come out and support the cause, or even just make a donation. Even just $10 will make a difference! To donate, visit

Hope to see you this weekend!

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