Leesburg resident Jeff Blair made a stop in Warsaw Thursday during his 151-mile walk from Dyer, Ind., to the Indiana-Ohio border to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. Pictured (L to R) are, front row: Joe Thallemer, Warsaw mayor; Blair; and Bob Conley, Kosciusko County commissioner; back row: Jim Newcombe, Leesburg. Photo by Jennifer Peryam, Times-Union
Leesburg resident Jeff Blair made a stop in Warsaw Thursday during his 151-mile walk from Dyer, Ind., to the Indiana-Ohio border to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. Pictured (L to R) are, front row: Joe Thallemer, Warsaw mayor; Blair; and Bob Conley, Kosciusko County commissioner; back row: Jim Newcombe, Leesburg. Photo by Jennifer Peryam, Times-Union
Leesburg resident Jeff Blair stopped in Warsaw Thursday during his 151-mile walk from Dyer to the Indiana-Ohio border to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.
Blair, 66, began his journey Sunday and will arrive at the Indiana-Ohio border Monday.
Blair said he decided to do his first walk in 2011 to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association after his father-in-law, Leo Radkey, passed away in 2009 at age 96. Radkey  had Alzheimer’s disease.
Funds raised during Blair’s second walk will be divided between the Alzheimer’s Association and the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association.
Blair said the Lincoln Highway Association is about promoting tourism, preservation and education related to the Lincoln Highway.
“Those with Alzheimer’s lose their memory and the Lincoln Highway is about bringing back memories – it’s 100 years old now,” Blair said. “I thought I’d link the two together and raise funds and half of the funds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association and the other half to the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association.”
Blair said he is close to his fundraising goal of $15,000.
He walks 14 miles a day and wears a bright orange T-shirt that says “Blair Walk 2014” on the front and  “Alzheimer’s And The Lincoln Highway” on the back.
“I’ve had almost no rain yet, so far so good, but there were two days of 30 to 35 mile-per-hour winds that were coming in my face out of the southeast,” Blair said.
Blair was in Atwood and Warsaw Thursday. He will go to Columbia City today, Fort Wayne Saturday, New Haven Sunday and the Indiana-Ohio border Monday.
He previously visited Dyer and Merrillville Sunday, Valparaiso Monday, Hanna on Tuesday, Hamlet Wednesday and Plymouth Thursday.
Blair walked along the Lincoln Highway Thursday on Center Street with Joe Thallemer, Warsaw mayor, Bob Conley, Kosciusko County commissioner, and Jim Newcombe, Leesburg resident,
The first Lincoln Highway route was in 1913  from Fort Wayne going up to Route 33 through Ligonier and Goshen and over to Elkhart, and went to Mishawaka and to the portion of U.S. 30 around Valparaiso.
By 1928 the route followed U.S. 30, now Old 30, through Warsaw.
Thallemer said he and Conley met Blair at Funk Park Thursday to walk to a Lincoln Highway memorial.
“I am certainly supportive of what he is doing,” Thallemer said.
The city of Warsaw and Kosciusko County Community Foundation have contributed money for Blair’s fund.
“Everyone at some point in their lives either knows someone who has or has had Alzheimer’s disease,” Conley said. “It is sad when you know them early in their life and they get to the point when they get Alzheimers.”
To donate to Blair’s cause visit blairwalk.com