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Stark County Woman Spreads the Word about the Alzheimer’s Association Without Saying a Word

Stark County Woman Spreads the Word about the Alzheimer’s Association Without Saying a Word
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May 26, 2020
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LOUISVILLE, OH - Tracie Hlava has created an innovative way to share her passion around telling people about the Alzheimer’s Association. Her mask speaks for her.
Hlava, of Louisville, is a volunteer for the Greater East Ohio Area Alzheimer’s Association and started making face coverings promoting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s ® to publicly support the association. It’s a conversation starter for sure.

“I wanted to have more bold conversations with people this year, then the coronavirus hit,” Hlava said. “I wear it out and the people, they are stopping me and saying ‘where did you get that mask? I love it.’” Hlava is chair of the Stark County Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The Walk, which raises money for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, is sponsored by the Greater East Ohio Area Chapter. This year’s event will be Saturday, Oct. 3, in Massillon. Participants  can register now at

“It’s a way for us to be creative, to raise awareness, spread the word during social distancing and help the community,” Hlava said. When COVID-19 first hit, she said she started sewing masks for the Stark County COVID-19 Community Group, a group that started up on Facebook. Then she held a virtual Walk committee meeting and decided to unveil her Alzheimer’s creation.

“I cut up one of my older (Walk) shirts from previous years and whipped up a mask and showed it at the end of our meeting,” Hlava said. All the committee members wanted one. Tyler Adams, Greater East Ohio manager for the Walk, put a photo of Hlava and her mask on LinkedIn and the requests started rolling in. She does not charge for the masks. It’s all about awareness for her.

To date she has sewed about 63 masks, with the help of some old Walk t-shirts donated by the Greater East Ohio Area Chapter. She’s gotten requests from 13 states.

She said the masks have given her a chance to talk about the Alzheimer’s Association,the purpose of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and the resources that the Alzheimer’s Association can provide for families needing help.
“I just felt like ‘how can I do more, how can I spread the word,’” she said.


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