By Steven Graves

CHICAGO (CBS) — The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Walk To End Alzheimer’s to take on a different approach on Saturday.

Usually thousands of people gather on the Lakefront for the walk, but this year only a few walkers were there as many others walked in smaller groups in Chicago neighborhoods.

Some people walked by themselves, like Peggy Martino, who strolled along the Lakefront for her mother, who passed from Alzheimer’s in 2015 after a 10-year battle.

Martino said this year’s solo walk brought a different, but welcome feel.

“I’m there to pray that we find a cure, number one, to remember her, but it was peaceful, probably easier than it’s been,” she said.

There was still an opening ceremony, with speakers. It included a display of personal tributes for those impacted by the disease.

The pandemic made it so people could look, but not touch.