Admirable Alzheimer's awareness efforts

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Capital Senior Living residents and staff raised more than $126,000 for the Alzheimer's Association through various activities.
Capital Senior Living residents and staff raised more than $126,000 for the Alzheimer's Association through various activities.

Senior living communities and organizations across the country are raising awareness and funding for Alzheimer's.

Last month, residents and staff at 129 Capital Senior Living communities participated in activities and pledged to raise $50,000 collectively for the Alzheimer's Association by June 21, otherwise known as The Longest Day.

Those who attended could take part in bake-offs, dance parties, bingo, gardening, karaoke, painting classes and more to reach their goal.

“It is not only our honor but our duty as those who serve the senior population to join the fight to end this awful disease,” said Capital Senior Living CEO Larry Cohen. “We're proud to team up with the Alzheimer's Association, which provides endless support to those affected by Alzheimer's and those who love and care for them.”

Not only did Capital Senior Living meet the goal of $50,000 for the Alzheimer's Association by The Longest Day, but they exceeded it, raising $131,000 in total as of Tuesday.

Residents at Brandywine Living at Litchfield in Litchfield, CT, also spent The Longest Day promoting awareness for Alzheimer's by hosting a coin drop and walk outside of their community.

During the event, funds were collected in a symbolic purple boot while residents waved signs to draw the attention of visitors and passing cars. The walk around the community helped raise money online. The community's combined efforts raised about $3,600 for the Alzheimer's Association.

“I think everyone had the most wonderful time giving back to charity. It brought purpose to many of us while having a fun time together. I enjoyed the day because I knew I was partaking in giving back to a cause that hits home for so many people,” said resident M. Meers (pictured).

Other Brandywine communities participating in activities, too.

Harbor Retirement Associates, based in Vero Beach, raised more than $17,000 for the Alzheimer's Association through its national “Go Purple” fundraising event.

For the initiative, HRA communities nationwide held fundraisers — cocktail parties, special educational presentations and silent auctions — in their local areas on July 10. The funds raised will go to each community's local 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer's teams.

“Each and every one of us has a reason to want to end Alzheimer's,” Harbor Retirement Associates Chief Operating Officer Kim Lewis said. “At HRA, we are committed to raising awareness and raising money to help find a cure for Alzheimer's, once and for all.”

HRA has 31 communities in seven states.

“We are very proud of our associates and communities for joining together and raising money for this great cause,” HRA Vice President of Sales and Marketing Danie Monaghan. “We are all personally impacted by Alzheimer's and we wanted to demonstrate our support for our residents and loved ones. Together, we can truly make a difference.”

This October, Pedal for Alzheimer's will host a 1,098 mile team cycling event to raise money for the Alzheimer's Research Initiative at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

The organization, formerly known as “Pedal for Pat,” was created to honor and commemorate Pat Summit's 1,098 wins as the legendary coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team.

The co-chairs of Pedal for Alzheimer's, Joshua Crisp, founder, president and CEO of senior living owner/operator Solinity, and Michelle Brooke-Marciniak, who played basketball under Summit at the University of Tennessee, announced that this year the riders will cycle under the non-profit 501(c)(3) banner of Pedal for Alzheimer's LTD.

“My goal last year was to challenge myself and start a movement to raise awareness about Alzheimer's, and our success made it clear that we needed to return to our bikes and hold the event again this year,” said Crisp (pictured training in the accompanying photo).

The event will begin in Knoxville, TN, and will see the cyclists ride through The Great Smoky Mountains to Northand South Carolina, down the Georgia and Florida coasts, and conclude in Daytona Beach, FL. Each team member is committed to raising at least $10,000, and day riders will contribute $65.

“To ride for Pat, the woman who coached me, mentored me and was a friend to me for 33 years of my life, is a true blessing,” Brooke-Marciniak said. “So many tears fell during the ride just thinking of how Alzheimer's took Pat away from us all. As we pedaled 1,098 miles through some grueling hours on our bikes, the bittersweet emotion of doing something so far out of your comfort zone became a point of parallel for all those who are suffering from Alzheimer's. As I now know full and well, Alzheimer's does not discriminate as I watched it take down my strong and beloved coach. And so we will ride again, to fight, to give our time, our energy and our resources.”

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