In the summer of 2009, McKenzie Wampler woke from a dream about a race she and her mother were running. She told about a race for Alzheimer’s, where the shirt said, “The Forget Me Not 5K for Alzheimer’s” and it had a picture of a cow with a forget me not flower in its mouth. McKenzie’s maternal Grandmother was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease. So, together with her Mom, they said, “why not?” and developed the first race t-shirt design/logo as McKenzie dreamt. What a great cause and it would be a fun event for everyone. The inaugural race was held in Lenoir City in 2010. There were around 100 runners and walkers that started at the Lenoir City High School and ran the Greenway through historic Lenoir City. Over the next for years the Forget Me Not 5K grew so large new routes were needed. The event took place on University of Tennessee campus a few years followed by a few years at Turkey Creek. In 2020, because of the Global Pandemic, the race went virtual. Last year and this current year Village Green shopping center and neighborhood are the hosts. The race has two purposes. First, it raises funds for The Pat Summitt Foundation, an organization created by Coach Pat Summitt and her son Tyler that advances research for Alzheimer’s prevention and a cure, it provides hope, care, and critical support for patients, caregivers and families, and it educates the public on the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease and the urgent need for a cure. The second purpose is to gather families of those facing this fierce opponent together to have a good time while supporting Alzheimer’s research. So far this little girl’s dream has raised over $182,000 dollars with the many runners and walkers who have participated, and a lot of memories have been made and shared during the event.
We are thrilled and excited to watch the Forget Me Not 5K grow to support the fight against Alzheimer’s. This race is completely Volunteer run with all proceeds after expenses donated to the Pat Summitt Foundation. We are passionate about research for a cure of this debilitating disease. JOIN US to make Alzheimer’s history!