Bailey Wachholz — the 15-year-old daughter of Pam and Duane Wachholz who was crowned Miss North Metro Outstanding Teen 2010 on Oct. 10 at the Hopkins High School — has raised more than $10,000 at the Lakes Area Memory Walks in the last two years in Brainerd.
Wachholz’ father Duane was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009 at the age of 72. Wachholz’ platform for the contest is titled “Remember Me? Alzheimer’s Through the Eyes of a Child.”
Wachholz, who is a sophomore at Brainerd High School, said in an e-mail that there is little information geared toward children when they have been touched by the devastating disease. So she has developed an educational program for children in grades one through five. She has presented to more than 2,000 students in eight schools throughout Minnesota. The Alzheimer Association and Wachholz are finalizing the program for teens so she’ll be presenting it to middle and high schools this winter. Wachholz knows first hand what it is like to receive the diagnosis and she wants to reach out to other children and help them deal and understand Alzheimer’s. She has a website at www.beonthemove.weebly.com where people may contact her if a school, church or other organization would like her to speak to students.
Wachholz is on the steering committee for the local memory walk and she is a Lakes Area Memory Awareness Advocates. LAMAA is a group of citizens striving for a safe and educated community for Alzheimer’s patients and their families.
The Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota/North Dakota chapter presented Wachholz a “Champion Award” in November.
Wachholz will compete in the Miss Minnesota Outstanding Teen Pageant on April 2 in Bloomington. She placed second runner-up in last years competition. Her talent is piano, which she has been playing since second grade.