For more than 20 years, Team Steven Knapp Home Improvements, led by Team Captains, Steven Knapp and Lori Chapin, has maintained a consistent presence at Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s Southern Regional Walk to Fight Alzheimer’s® in Point Pleasant Beach. The annual Walk has become a much anticipated tradition for longtime team members, some of whom were still in strollers when they first joined the team. Twenty four years later, some of the youngest team members are now bringing along their own friends and significant others to participate. Today, the team ranges between 18 to 25 members strong and includes Steven’s siblings, Lori’s sister and her mom. Over the years, Team Steven Knapp Home Improvements has successfully raised close to $100,000 in support of Alzheimer’s care and research.

Steven began walking for Alzheimer’s in 1994 after his father, John, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Back then, Steven and Lori, his wife of 16 years, were not yet married and just out of college. Steven, with the support of his siblings and Lori, played a large role in helping his mother, Eileen, in keeping John at home for as long as possible, until the last year of his life and his passing in 2002. A year or so later in about 2003, his mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Steven and Lori again found themselves in caregiving roles with support and assistance from family and outside resources –until Eileen passed away in 2011. The heartache of watching your most beloved family members slip away before your eyes, only served to drive Steven and Lori’s passion to continue to increase awareness, support local programs and help fund research for a cure.

Family and friends who wanted to honor John and Eileen, and who were also personally affected by Alzheimer’s in their own lives, started to join the couple at the Point Pleasant Beach Walk in 1996. “As our team continued to grow, we walked in honor of many loved ones,” said Steven.  “We walk with hope for a brighter future, and in memory and honor of those we have lost and those we love.”

Steven and Lori are aware of the challenges that come with fundraising and asking for donations on behalf of charitable organizations like Alzheimer’s New Jersey. Lori offers some practical advice for other Team Captains who may be struggling with this as well. “Asking for money isn’t easy, but social media has made it so much easier than when we first started,” she said.

“Be patient, don’t be afraid to ask your full network by sending personal email and letting people know why this cause is so near and dear to you. After that, do regular posting (on social media) using pictures and a direct link to your fundraising page on your social media platform.” And perhaps, the single most important piece of advice from Steven and Lori: “Be sure to thank people as you go along.”

We hope you’ll be able to join Team Steven Knapp Home Improvements at the Southern Regional Walk to Fight Alzheimer’s in Point Pleasant Beach on Saturday, September 22. Register today for this Walk as well as our 4 other walks throughout New Jersey.