January Tankersley, Manager of Development with the Alzheimer’s Association, is encouraging the community to participate in The Longest Day by either starting their own team and fundraising for the campaign, joining an existing team, or simply donating to the cause.
Tankersley’s team is doing a virtual event called A Tea to Remember. She’s invited people throughout her social media networks to participate.
“I’m asking my friends to take a moment to remember somebody in their lives with Alzheimer’s,” said Tankersley. “My team is doing a tea because that’s what I did with my grandmother who had dementia. I’ve asked them to post a picture on social media of themselves sipping tea either with or in honor of a loved one with Alzheimer’s to spread awareness.”
Mary Olsen moved her husband and two young children to Piney Flats to be close to her 76-year-old mother who suffers from dementia. Olsen has seen the disease in several family members, which is why she got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association. She’s created a team of her local family members to do her mother’s favorite pastime of fishing.
“My family and I are going to take a moment to take a deep breath and honor my mom,” said Olsen. “She absolutely loves fishing. She comes from a family of 18 siblings, so it’s something she did growing up and then with my father. As a baby, I learned how to fish before I could even walk.”
Olsen participates in the Alzheimer’s Association’s awareness and fundraising events because she believes it’s important to get the word out about the disease so people who are going through the same thing will know to get their loved ones checked instead of passing the symptoms off as old age. “I’m teaching my family that so many people are touched by this,” said Olsen. “It affects so many more than just the elderly.”
To register a team, find an existing team, or donate to the cause, visitalz.org/thelongestday and let people know what you’re doing. The money the teams raise for The Longest Day goes to the Alzheimer’s Association, which is a global organization that advocates on behalf of those suffering from the disease by supporting their care, support and research. The association offers educational programs, a 24-hour helpline, support groups, services to help match people with clinical studies, and a nationwide emergency response service.