A series of outdoor walks amid the colorful fall foliage, which started in Point Pleasant Beach this past weekend and will continue next month in Jersey City, Princeton and Paramus, could potentially bring in more than $1 million for New Jerseyans affected by Alzheimer's disease.

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Alzheimer's New Jersey, which was founded in 1985 as Alzheimer's Association, Greater New Jersey Chapter, pulled down $1.2 million from their "Walk to Fight Alzheimer's" events in 2015, and hopes to approach that figure again this year, beginning with the thousand-plus walkers who descended on Point Pleasant Beach on Saturday.

"One hundred percent of the funds do stay local to help provide services to those affected by the disease in New Jersey," said Julie Schuldner, Alzheimer's New Jersey vice president of development and communications. "We deliver programs and services to those individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, their families, and their caregivers."

Registration for each of this fall's four events is free, meaning all money the organization is bringing in will be through donations. Participants at each walk get a T-shirt and a light breakfast, and there will be other food, music, activities and prizes.

"There has never been a fee to register," Schuldner said. "In the past, there has been a minimum donation to earn a T-shirt."

In the wake of a 5K being canceled two weekends ago in Seaside Park when a bomb went off along the race route, Schuldner said security will be tightened at Alzheimer's New Jersey events this fall, the group working in tandem with local authorities. But she added that the walks are not the only fundraising efforts undertaken by the organization on a yearly basis.

"We also do other events," Schuldner said. "We have a big gala in May, we do an educational research conference, we also do a big golf event in June."

Following Point Pleasant Beach, the other three Alzheimer's New Jersey walks this season are:

  • Saturday, Oct. 1, Liberty State Park, Jersey City;
  • Sunday, Oct. 9, Education Testing Services campus, Princeton;
  • Sunday, Oct. 30, Bergen Community College, Paramus.

All three events begin at 8:30 a.m. on their selected days. Registration can be completed day-of, or ahead of time by calling (973) 586-4300, emailing walk@alznj.org, or visiting alznj.org.

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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