Alzheimer’s disease has become the most costly medical condition in America due to the need for long-term care for those stricken, yet the dollars devoted to research for a cure are far short of what’s needed. As our population ages and life expectancy reaches new records, more of us are affected by the disease in one way or another, either as a person with dementia, or caregiver or loved one concerned with the well-being of someone afflicted.
North County residents are dedicating their time and money to the Alzheimer’s Association’s
“The Longest Day,”
a do-it-yourself fundraiser in which participants turn their own hobbies and interests into opportunities to raise money for Alzheimer’s care and research.
San Marcos resident Scott Patterson, a financial advisor at Edward Jones, is turning his love for comic book superheroes into an eight-hour party and backyard barbeque with a silent auction of comic book memorabilia and luxury items including golf foursomes, signed baseballs and even a week’s stay at a Maui condominium.
“All of us are heroes in some shape or form,” says Patterson. “Through social services we help people get better. Alzheimer’s does the opposite. It destroys, and is therefore the villain.”
Patterson’s event is slated for June 8 at a friend’s home in Carlsbad, but the entire month of June, which is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, is the window for Association-sanctioned activities.
Other North County residents and businesses are joining the fight as well. 181 Fitness is turning Saturdays into opportunities to get fit and donate to the cause. Members of the American Contract Bridge League are hosting bridge games throughout the area.
Across San Diego, people who have lost family members or are caring for friends or family with Alzheimer’s have gotten creative, with activities as varied as surfing, rock climbing, half marathons, pickleball, bowling, and even stamp collecting raising thousands of dollars so far. Whatever your hobby or favorite sport or pastime, someone in the area has most likely turned it into an event to raise money.
Local businesses are also joining the cause. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouses in Escondido and other locations are offering free Pizookies to all patrons who donate one dollar or more during the month of June, and are matching all donations on June 20 & 21 up to $25,000.
Funds raised benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, whose mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s Disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
If you have an idea for an activity you can turn into your own personal fundraiser to help those with Alzheimer’s, go the Alzheimer’s Association web site at www.alz.org/TheLongestDay and join the fight. Or contact North County’s local chapter by writing Sarah Granby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be the superhero Scott Patterson says we all have inside us and join the hundreds of North County residents who will take part in the fight against the villainous Alzheimer’s disease.