GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of people gathered in Calder Plaza wearing purple Saturday to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease and support the people who battle it every day. 

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The walk started at 10 a.m. Saturday. 

The fundraising goal for the walk this year was $300,000. The organization raised more than $250,000 before the walk started. Organizers said the walk was a way to raise awareness of the disease and provide a safe space for those affected by it.

“People are surrounded by people who are going through what they’re going through or have gone through it, so it’s supportive and yet still a celebratory event because we know we are working toward a really good cause and the Alzheimer’s Association’s vision, which is a world without Alzheimer’s,” Kathryn Ribant Payne, the communications director for the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter, said. 

If you did not make it to this year’s walk in Grand Rapids, there could be an upcoming walk near you in West Michigan. You can also donate to the Alzheimer’s Association on its website