COM President, Dr. Beth Lewis

Converging on Stewart Beach Oct. 11, the College of the Mainland Quack Pack, made up of COM students, staff and friends 170 strong, became the top company team during the Galveston Walk to End Alzheimer’s – raising $9,208.73 to search for a cure. 

For many, the walk was personal.

“My grandpa died one year ago and he had Alzheimer’s. That was the reason I was involved,” said Gustavo Martinez, a COM student who raised $102 for the cause.

The COM So Psyched Student Club coordinated campus involvement in the event after COM President Beth Lewis suggested it as one of their community service projects.

“This is a personal cause for me, having lost my father to this cruel disease in 2011. Three months after his funeral, my mother was diagnosed with mid-stage Alzheimer’s,” said COM President Beth Lewis. “Participation in these events support one of  COM’s 2014-17 strategic goals -- College of the Mainland will provide services/processes that connect the College to the community in a mutually growth-enhancing cycle. If your family hasn’t been affected by Alzheimer’s disease yet, the chances are very good that you will be soon. Today, an American develops Alzheimer's disease every 68 seconds.”

According to the website, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in America. It kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined.

“I teach students about this disease every semester in all of the psychology classes that I teach,” said So Psyched Student Club co-advisor Lalanya Ennis. “There are so many people who believe this disease is simply a loss of memory, and while it is very hard when your loved ones don’t recognize you anymore, watching your loved ones slowly slip away mentally, physically and emotionally is one of the hardest things to deal with. I watched my grandmother suffer for many years, and I pray that we find a cure.”

The Alzheimer's Association is the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer's research. The association also supports a website and hotline (800-272-3900) to offer information and advice to more than 250,000 callers each year.

While the 2014 walk is complete, the journey toward a cure continues. To donate or learn more, visit