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By Contributor
April 18th, 2016

Lifelong Nelson resident Bob Hawes couldn’t walk any street in his hometown without someone stopping him to chat.

People in the community counted on him for assistance in building and repairing everything from bear traps to ski lifts.

Most of the time, says his family, “you could find him in his garage repairing something for someone.”

Hawes is the honoree for the Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s for Nelson. The fundraising event for the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. takes place on Sunday, May 1, with the theme “Make memories matter.”

Residents can participate, donate and volunteer at

Hawes was born in Nelson and grew up only blocks from where he would later raise his own family. He and wife Betty had four children — three of them still live here — plus four grandchildren and one great grandchild.

The only job he held lasted 41 years: working at Acklands-Grainger, as a machinist and manager. His knowledge and expertise were sought and respected by many people in the community. His garage was always open to others, his family says, and he helped many young people started new businesses.

Hawes loved to hunt, fish, ski, snowmobile, ATV and pick huckleberries.
Nelson residents can honor Hawes, and support other local families living with dementia, by taking part or donating to the Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s on May 1.

“Memories make us who we are,” says Walk Chair Simon Grypma. “When you walk, you honour those who have passed and support our work to provide help and hope to those living with the disease today.”

He encourages participation because “everyone will be touched by dementia, whether it’s a relative, a friend or someone in your community. You can make a difference.”

Walk registration takes place at 10 a.m. under the Rotary Shelter in Nelson Rotary Lakeside Park. The Walk begins at 11 a.m.

Individuals and teams are welcome, and are asked to collect pledges. Funds raised support programs and services in the community that:

  • improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and for their families
  • support other activities like education and public awareness

Any team that raises more than $1,000 by April 15 will be entered into a draw for a $500 Best Buy gift card.

Volunteers are also needed. For more information, visit or contact local Walk Chair Simon Grypma at 250-551-0462 or

Walk for Alzheimer’s is Canada’s biggest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Already approximately 747,000 Canadians have the disease, with 70,000 of them in British Columbia. That number will nearly double in the next 20 years, as age is the biggest risk factor and people are living longer.

For more information on local resources to help families live well with Alzheimer’s and other dementias ,visit

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