Tallahassee’s Alzheimer’s Project offers all its services free of charge. As Tom Flanigan reports, that makes an upcoming fund-raiser for the agency critically important.
Tallahassee’s Alzheimer’s Project, Incorporated will mark its twenty-second anniversary this year. Clinical Director James Smith says much of what was unknown about the disease when the project began remains elusive.
“Alzheimer’s Disease is one of those diseases that we still don’t exactly know what causes it, why it happens, why it takes so long in some, why it goes so short in others. And so as the Baby Boom folks reach the age of sixty-five-plus, we’re going to see a continuation and a growth in the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.”
In the United States today, there are nearly five-and-a-half million people with Alzheimer’s Disease. The number of cases in Leon County now tops four-thousand. Smith says the Alzheimer’s Project, Incorporated is always there to help them and their families.
“We have free support groups where caregivers are able to come and speak with other caregivers about the problems that they face on a day-to-day basis. We have respite opportunities so that caregivers can drop their loved ones off at one of our secure environments and have six hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to themselves to go and do whatever they want to do, whether that’s going to a doctor’s appointment that they may not have gone to in a long time, or going to the grocery store by themselves or sometimes even going home and taking a nap.”
The cost of that and all the other services the Project offers is substantial. Smith says that led to the birth of the fund-raiser called “Purple Craze”.
“(It was) the brainchild of one of our current board members. She wanted to create this wonderful event and her favorite color was purple and the Alzheimer’s awareness color is purple, so the Purple Craze was created and it’s just going to be this fun, over-the-top purple extravaganza.”
Smith says there will be a lot of things going on.
“There’s going to be a costume party and the person with the best purple costume will win some type of prize and there will be food, there will be a silent auction and a live auction. We’ve got really great auction items from beach houses to Southwest (donating) two airline tickets.”
Smith says it’s just a week away and event tickets are going fast.
“The event will be held on Thursday, January 31st at the Elks Lodge on Magnolia. It will be from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. People can find tickets on our web site or they can come to the office, which is at 301 East Tharpe Street. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. or they can purchase them at the door at the event as well.”
Just remember to wear something purple and be ready to have a good time for a good cause.