Purple and white “Good ol’ Phyl” paper donation flowers line the ceiling of Reginato’s Mini Mart & Deli on the corner of Broadway and Highway 89, acknowledging all who have donated a dollar or more to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, a fundraising walk on Sept. 21 in Redding at the Redding Civic Center at Turtle Bay.

In honor of his late wife, Phyllis, McCloud’s Tony Reginato is asking for support to help end Alzheimer's Disease.

Purple and white “Good ol’ Phyl” paper donation flowers line the ceiling of Reginato’s Mini Mart & Deli on the corner of Broadway and Highway 89, acknowledging all who have donated a dollar or more to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, a fundraising walk on Sept. 21 in Redding at the Redding Civic Center at Turtle Bay.

Reginato, who was married to Phyllis for 54 years, along with friends, family and community members have been the top Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising team since 2014, raising more than $1,600 each year.

This year, in just three weeks, Reginato and his staff have raised $2,200 at the Mini Mart.

“You can’t find a more generous community than McCloud. Even people that don’t have much still give a little,” Reginato said.

One hundred percent of the money goes to the Alzheimer’s Association, a non-profit organization which provides programs and services for individuals with the disease or related dementia and their caregivers. It also goes toward Alzheimer’s research for more effective treatments and ultimately, a cure. The organization also provides a 24/7 help line for Alzheimer’s support, staffed by licensed clinical social workers that can be reached at (800) 272-3900.

Phyllis Reginato was diagnosed 20 years ago and passed away July 16, 2014. Tony Reginato’s brother-in-law, Rino Riccomini, died from Alzheimer’s 20 years ago, and currently, his sister Alice DeBon struggles with the disease.

“All I knew was that it was memory loss – big deal,” said Reginato. He learned quickly that the disease is much more than that.

“You never really know what it’s all about. It is so hard on everyone,” he said. “Talk. Talk it out – communicate. My sister Virginia Riccomini’s husband died from it 20 years ago. Since we both have gone through it, we talk about it. It helps to talk to someone.”

“Most people don’t know the disease and the toll it takes on the families. To watch a family member slowly lose their identity is so hard,” said Tony and Phyllis’s daughter, Kelly Claro.

Alisha Rouland, a representative of the Alzheimer’s Association, said the walk is to help bring awareness and help fund services and research. This is the ninth annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Redding, where $84,000 was raised last year.

“Our goal is $100,000 this year,” said Rouland. “We are expecting 500 walkers ... There is a one and two-mile walk over the Sundial Bridge,” as well as activities for children, a promise ceremony and speakers from impacted families.

“The funds raised help research and provide local services from Humboldt to Reno to Fresno area,” Rouland added. “We have a total of 18 walks in the different chapters. It is an incredible experience.”

For more information about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s or the Alzheimer’s Association, go to alz.org/walk.org or call (530) 895-9661. You can also email reddingwalk@alz.org.

“Give a dollar or more and it will put you 10 feet closer to heaven,” said Tony Reginato.

Donations to the “Good Ol’ Phyl” team can be mailed to Tony Reginato, PO Box 1690, McCloud, CA 96057 or stop by the Reginato’s Mini Mart & Deli at 116 Broadway in McCloud.