McCarthy and fellow Grafton resident Dan Smyth are co-captains for Team Grafton in this year's Worcester County Walk to End Alzheimer's, set for Sunday, Sept. 29, at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester.
The event is "the largest annual fundraising and public awareness event for the Alzheimer’s Association," according to an Alzheimer's Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter press release.
McCarthy said Team Grafton has raised $1,200 of its $3,000 goal. The team has about six members, she said. Prospective members should visit www.alzwalkMANH.org, e-mail email@example.com or call 508-265-6960.
McCarthy and Smyth said Sunday that they have relatives with Alzheimer's.
McCarthy said her sister was diagnosed about two years ago.
McCarthy said she was familiar with the Walk, having volunteered there not long before, through the United Way. She walked last year with the team organized by the Grafton Senior Center.
"(My sister) has four children, three of them in the Massachusetts area.
And two of them walked with me last year with one of their children each,"
McCarthy said she was asked to start a team by Christine Brown, the chapter's development and outreach officer.
Smyth, meanwhile, said that an Alzheimer's Association representative spoke at his company, and discussed the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's, about a year ago.
The presentation "really struck home, because my grandmother had
Alzheimer's. The last few years of her life, she was in a nursing home,"
Smyth added that his aunt now has Alzheimer's, and is in a Florida nursing home.
He decided to volunteer, and called the Alzheimer's Association office, which told him about the Walk.
Team Grafton now is reaching out to the community.
McCarthy and Smyth plan to have an information table at the Aug. 22 Grafton Farmers Market, on the Grafton Common.
And they've arranged for an Alzheimer's Association staff member to present "Know the 10 Signs" at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 9 at the senior center.