Alzheimer's Association virtual kick-off ceremony video

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Video transcript

Carol Daniel – Opening Remarks

Welcome!

I’m Carol Daniel of KMOX radio, and it is my honor to host the first-ever Edward Jones virtual opening ceremony for the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. 

Over the past five years, Edward Jones and the Alzheimer’s Association have worked arm in arm to move us closer to a world without Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Together, we must find an end to this disease that robs us of our health, our wealth and our relationships. 

Since your two organizations came together in a strategic alliance nearly five years ago, you have walked, educated, advocated – and contributed more than $25 million toward ending this disease. Currently, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and they receive care from 16 million friends and family members. Despite the fact it affects so many, this is a disease that has no cure or effective treatment – yet. 

You should be proud of all that you have accomplished – as an organization and as individuals. I’ve been told that at Edward Jones you support causes that matter to your clients, to your community and each of you.

Well, this cause is important. If you and your family aren’t personally impacted by Alzheimer’s, you probably know someone who is living with the disease, or someone who is acting as a caregiver. . .

I am passionate about this cause because it has impacted me personally. My mother has Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed at just about the same time Edward Jones and the Alzheimer’s Association entered into their historic strategic alliance. 

Before we move on, I have a confession: I have buried the lead.

As a news person, this pains me. 

But we have a very exciting announcement to share with you today, and I have vowed not to steal the thunder of our next presenters – Edward Jones Managing Partner Penny Pennington and President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, Harry Johns.

Before I say too much, I’ll turn it over to Penny.

Penny Pennington

Hi Y’all!

It’s so exciting to be here with you today to kick off our first ever Virtual Opening Ceremony celebrating our support of Walk to End Alzheimer's and doing what we do best at Edward Jones: coming together to make a difference in our community. 

Five years ago, Edward Jones entered into a strategic alliance with the Alzheimer's Association to help protect and preserve our clients' health, relationships and financial goals.  The causes that are important to our clients, their futures and their families are important to us.  Through walking, educating and advocating, we have contributed more than $25 million to advance the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association to provide care and support to all those affected while accelerating research toward a cure.

Together, we have positively impacted society by building communities and advancing knowledge around potential treatments and methods of early detection.  I am proud to be here today to share with you all that our work together with the Alzheimer's Association will continue.  Today, our firm is announcing a 5-year, $25 million commitment in the fight to end Alzheimer's. This work, which will begin in January 2021 is to ensure our firm can join with the Alzheimer's Association, affected families, and researchers from around the world, to commit to progress in the fight against this disease.  Right Harry?

Harry Johns

Thanks to Edward Jones, and associates, clients and families. 

As the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia continues to grow, your National Presenting Sponsorship make our mission efforts possible: 

  • Research
  • Education to advance care and support
  • Broaden awareness.

As a result of COVID-19, this year has been challenging for all of us in unprecedented ways, but we’ve adapted:

The Alzheimer’s Association has taken steps to make our services accessible through online platforms, so we can continue to provide care and support to affected families. 

Offer information to help guide family caregivers and professionals.

Advocate for policies to support long-term care facilities. 

We’ve of course also needed to adapt Walk to End Alzheimer’s, keeping safety top of mind. 

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is moving forward, it will just look different this year.  

Participants will safely walk as individuals or families, knowing that others fighting against Alzheimer’s are doing the same. 

We will keep our constituents safe with no large group gatherings while maintaining a community focus. But we are still Walking.  

We’re so grateful that all of you at Edward Jones are going to be participating in our Walks nationwide once again. 

As a participant, you’ll have some new experiences that we haven’t had before, such as: 

A mobile app to track steps 

Community awareness symbols you can display from your home to let others know you’re walking

A Promise Garden “planted” in your community

Again, we are thrilled that Edward Jones associates, clients and their families are joining us. Together we can achieve our vision to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.

Penny

Right on, Harry. 

The Alzheimer's Association has worked with Edward Jones to put together an amazing plan that will allow us all to be engaged in raising awareness and funds safely.  This approach is a change, but it does not minimize the importance of all us coming together and continuing our work to fight Alzheimer's.  Over the last four years we have had more than 65,000 participants on Edward Jones Walk to End Alzheimer's teams.  If that’s not proof of the amazing culture of caring and service at Edward Jones, I don’t know what is. 

Caring about our clients, one another and our communities isn't simply something we do at Edward Jones; it's who we are.  And together, we are doing amazing things – funding research, raising awareness and connecting people living with the disease and their families to vital care and support.  
And with your energy and your commitment that work is continuing for 5 more years. I would personally like to thank Harry Johns and the Alzheimer's Association for this tremendous partnership, which is helping our firm protect and preserve our clients' health, relationships and financial goals.  I would also like to thank the regional coordinators, associates and families of Edward Jones for your tremendous support over these past five years. I know many of you are dealing with Alzheimer's and its impacts in very personal ways, and we are here with you.

I'll be participating, and I hope you'll join me.  I can't wait to see what more we can accomplish, because together we serve. Now, let’s go make a difference!

Carol Daniel

Wow! Five more years and 25 million more dollars.

This is fantastic news.

When I think of all the awareness and education and groundbreaking research that this $25 million commitment can generate, I am inspired. 

Beyond the financial support – which is significant – this renewed commitment to put an end to this disease that destroys so many lives underscores in a very tangible way the Edward Jones culture of caring. And your purpose, as a firm, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of your clients, your community and each other. 

Next I’ll turn it over to Ken Cella, who will talk a little more about how this commitment truly ties to that purpose … and Matt Mikula, chair for the St. Louis Walk to End Alzheimer’s, who will share how Alzheimer’s has personally impacted his life.

Ken Cella

Hello, everyone.

My name is Ken Cella and I am privileged to lead Client Strategies Group for Edward Jones in St. Louis.

We are in the business of helping families build and preserve wealth, and Alzheimer's disease destroys not just health and wealth but the relationships and memories of the families that we serve. 

This is especially important for the estimated 150,000 Edward Jones clients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.  

Alzheimer's disease continues to be a concern for many in our communities. 

According to a recent Edward Jones and Age Wave survey, Alzheimer's is the most feared health condition of later life ranking higher than COVID-19, Cancer, Heart Attack, and Stroke.

Knowing that this cause is meaningful to so many makes me proud that our firm is stepping forward, announcing a 5-year, $25 million renewal to end Alzheimer's.

We have accomplished so much together over these past five years, and I look forward to seeing what we can do together in the next five years.

Without your tireless dedication we couldn't have contributed more than $25 million and positively impacted thousands of lives.

This significant achievement was made possible by all of you who have walked in one of 630 Walks to End Alzheimer's across the country …

Who have shared the Edward Jones Alzheimer's national hotline …

Who have delivered community-based presentations with Alzheimer's Association staff and volunteers in communities across the country…

Or have served on the board of a local Alzheimer's chapter.

Our purpose at Edward Jones is to improve the lives of our clients, their families and our communities. 

Together, we are doing just that.

So, thank you for your tremendous support – keep walking, educating and advocating.

Because directly or indirectly, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are impacting the people we care about. 

Our colleague Matt Mikula knows that firsthand.

Matt Mikula

Thanks Ken.

I am grateful to be here today and proud to be this year's Chair for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer's in St. Louis.  This cause is important to me, our clients, our associates, our firm and so many others in communities across the country. 

There are more than 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer's today and as that number continues to grow, we have more work to do. We have accomplished a lot together during the last five years and I take comfort knowing we will have another five years together in the fight to end Alzheimer's.

As you heard from Ken, we are in the business of helping families build and preserve wealth, and Alzheimer's disease can destroy all of this.  I know firsthand because my mother has Alzheimer's and it's stealing her health, her memories and far too many relationships.  

On behalf of Edward Jones and my family, I want to personally thank all of you for making a difference by walking, educating and advocating for a cause that's so near and dear to my heart. Edward Jones' commitment to the Alzheimer’s Association through our strategic alliance gives our family hope that one day we will live in a world without Alzheimer's and all dementia.

Now I would like to shift to a special part of our ceremony.  Walk to End Alzheimer’s events across the country feature a Promise Garden – an experience that invites participants to raise flowers representing their promise to remember, honor, care and fight for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

Through color, these Promise Flowers represent the diverse motivations of participants:

  • Yellow is I am supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer's
  • Blue is I have Alzheimer's
  • Purple is I have lost someone to Alzheimer's
  • Orange is I support the cause to end Alzheimer's 

I share with you now a yellow flower representing that I walk for my mother.

Carol Daniel

What a beautiful tribute to those we love. 

I love the idea of a Promise Garden – how we are planting the seeds today as our commitment to creating hope for tomorrow.

I hold a flower that represents my own promises.

Yellow shows that I pledge to walk for my mom.

We actually have another surprise guest for you today — someone who also has a personal reason for joining the fight. She’s one of ESPN’s most popular and respected commentators, an anchor for SportsCenter and host of SportsCenter on the Road. When she’s not in front of the camera, she’s a proud supporter and Celebrity Champion for the Alzheimer’s Association. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m thrilled to welcome Sage Steele!

Sage, thank you so much for sharing your story. On behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association, Edward Jones, and all of the people out there participating in the Walk this year, we are grateful for all that you do to advance the cause.  

Earlier, Penny said something that resonates with me. She said caring about people isn’t just something you do at Edward Jones – it’s who you are. 

This is a powerful message. And I know you see it in action – on your teams and in your community – every day.

As someone who has been reporting about our community for more than 25 years, I’ve also seen it in action.

Edward Jones cares. And Edward Jones acts to make a difference in the community.

This year, our community is hurting in unprecedented ways. Living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers are facing additional challenges as a result of the social isolation caused by this pandemic. They are often part of our population most vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their age. 

While this year’s Walks will be different, we need them now more than ever. 

Yes, we need to walk to show our support in a big way to the people living with Alzheimer’s whose worlds – isolated and distanced from their loved ones – have grown increasingly small; and who need the care and support of the Alzheimer’s Association now more than ever. 

By walking as individuals and families … in our neighborhoods and on our streets … in more than 630 walks throughout the country … we can show our moms and dads and grandparents “we are walking for you!”

What a powerful force we can be. 

For them. And for each other. 

Now let’s get on our walking shoes and, as Penny said, go make a difference!

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