Spoke & Memories Event Benefits the Alzheimer’s Association

Writer / Renee Larr
Photography Provided

As we age, memories are all we carry of the life we live. Unfortunately, for some, the cruel onset of Alzheimers disease robs those precious moments. One local family that has been affected by the disease is raising money to help find a cure, so no other family has to suffer.

In 2019 Ned Broadwater created the Spoke & Memories ride to raise funding for the Alzheimers Association. Each year the ride has grown and it is currently the second-largest fundraiser in the state of Indiana, having raised more than $27,000 in 2021.

Spoke & MemoriesNeds daughter Sara is highly involved with the planning and promotion of the ride. She lost three of her four grandparents to Alzheimers. Her sister founded Singing for Smiles, a music therapy platform, for her work in the Miss Indiana program. Through the last 12 years the family has raised more than $100,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

We wanted to create a ride where we ride to raise funds and take the time to share memories of the people affected by this disease,” Sara Broadwater says. That can be a family member, a caretaker, a distant relative or a friend. We want to take the time to share our memories with others.”

The 65-mile bike ride on June 25 starts and ends at Moontown Brewing Company in Whitestown. The number 65 is significant because every 65 seconds, a person is diagnosed with Alzheimers disease. This year the goal is to raise over $40,000. The ride involves multiple speed categories and riding groups, to accommodate every type of rider.

We know some people want to participate but feel like 65 miles on a bike might be too much, so we will offer a 25-mile option,” Broadwater says. If people dont want to or cant participate in the ride, they can also participate by donating.”

The event is sponsored by local Carmel, Whitestown and Zionsville businesses including Moontown Brewing Company, Gray Goat Cycling, Papa Murphy’s, and Nature’s Choice Landscaping. Each rider is asked to raise $200 in donations to participate in the ride. At the end of the ride Moontown Brewing Company will host a party, donating 10% of their revenue from that day to the Spoke & Memories cause.

According to the Alzheimers Association, more than 110,000 Hoosiers live with the disease, and more than 216,000 Hoosiers are acting as unpaid caregivers, yet there is currently no cure. For additional perspective, Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast and prostate cancer combined, and between 2000 and 2019 Alzheimer’s deaths increased 145%.

My dad started this ride as a way to honor his dad,” Broadwater says. Were so fortunate that the ride has increased in size and money raised each year. My dad realized he was pretty good at this, and now its become a father-daughter passion project for us. Many people think of it as an older persons issue, but the math shows if you havent been affected by it yet, you will be soon.”

For more information, visit spokeandmemories.com.

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