Cheryl Mielke

Cheryl Mielke being awarded this year’s Pat Wilson Circle of Care Humanitarian Award for her lifetime of dedication to helping those with Alzheimer’s and dementia through fundraising and personal care.

More than 250 people stepped forward to give hope to locals living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at the Columbia/Marquette County Alzheimer’s Walk on Sept.8.

The event at Riverside Park in Portage raised more than $30,550 to support local programs and services for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementia and their caregivers.

The fundraiser will continue to increase as event totals are calculated. Online donations will be accepted until mid-November at The annual Alzheimer’s Walk is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin (ADAW).

This year’s Pat Wilson Circle of Care Humanitarian Award went to Cheryl Mielke of the team from Prairie Bonnet Lutheran Church. Outreach Specialist, Janet Wiegel, presented her with the award stating that, “Cheryl has been a big part of the Alzheimer’s Walk in Portage for 13 years. She has worked diligently to raise funds for those going through Alzheimer’s and dementia. She was a caregiver for her mother-in-law and then her own mother who had Alzheimer’s. Cheryl has tirelessly put the care of others ahead of her own needs. We wanted to take a moment and thank her for all she’s done over the years to help us raise funds to help families in the Columbia/Marquette counties dealing with this disease.”

Local resident Mona Matijevich, along with her 9 siblings of the Mary Lou Campion Family, were the Honorary Chairpersons of the event. In 2012, Mona noticed signs of her mother, Mary Lou’s, memory loss. After talking to family and doctors Mary Lou appointed Mona and her sister as caregivers. Mary Lou’s daughters and all of the siblings and grandkids shared in caring for their mom/grandma.

Proceeds at the event will support programs for local families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. ADAW offers free family education programs throughout Green County along with several early-stage programs. ADAW also hosts legal and financial planning seminars for seniors and monthly family education programs in Dane County. All programs are always free. For a full list of programs and services, visit

Teams raising the most money were Bonnet Prairie Lutheran Church in 1st place, followed closely by Marquette County ADRC/HHS. Teams with the most walkers were: in 1st place Bonnet Prairie and 2nd place We’re Alz In. The family teams raising the most money were the McCarthy Girls in 1st place and Smokin’ for a Cure in 2nd place.

Sponsors of this year’s walk included Columbia County Health Care Center, Brakebush, Divine Savior Healthcare, The Dump Bar & Grill, Fitz’s on the Lake, Trail’s Lounge Supper Club, Rendezvous Meat Raffle, Platinum Communities Larson House, Our House Senior Living, and Bonnet Prairie Lutheran Church.

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