Great Minds Gala to honor actress, chef

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Actress Marcia Gay Harden and chef Madison Cowan will be among those honored March 19 by LeadingAge and Integrace at the Great Minds Gala.

The gala is a fundraiser held in conjunction with LeadingAge's PEAK Leadership Summit to help improve the care offered to people with Alzheimer's disease and the support options available for their caregivers. Sponsors include Marriott Washington Wardman Park. This is the fifth annual event.

Harden and Cowan will share the 2018 Proxmire Award in recognition of their efforts to raise awareness of and advocate for families living with Alzheimer's disease around the world.

Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed in Harden's mother in 2008. She chronicles her experience as a family caregiver in the upcoming book “The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family and Flowers,” slated for May publication.

Cowan, who was the first-ever grand champion on the Food Network show “Chopped,” experienced Alzheimer's through his father and father-in-law. He now has a proactive attitude toward cognitive health and uses his global platform to advocate for dementia awareness, according to LeadingAge.

Two additional awards will be bestowed during the gala.

St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna, WI, will receive the Excellence in Dementia Care Award in recognition of its Passages program, which supports individuals as they experience various stages of dementia.

Sandy Schocker will receive the Exceptional Friend or Family Care Partner Award. Schocker's late mother lived at Garvey Manor, a continuing care retirement community in Hollidaysburg, PA, and she continues to visit, sharing birthday and holidays with residents and celebrating their special moments.

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Bringing in the outdoors

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Garvey Manor and Our Lady of the Alleghenies Residence continuing care retirement community recently hosted an outdoor show, "Marching into the Woods."

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