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Purple Willie Jam Rocks Out for Alzheimer's Relief on Saturday

Tom Flanigan

A musical fund-raiser to help Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers takes place on Saturday, August 11 in Tallahassee.

“Purple Willie Jam” event founder and leading light is David Wheeler, whose day job is being an educator and trainer at Premier Health and Fitness.

“This is Purple Willie Jam IV,” Wheeler said. “When I first conceived of it, I had no idea what it would be. I just thought we’d get together, listen to a little music, have a few adult beverages, if everybody has a good time, nobody gets hurt. We raise a few hundred dollars, it’s all good.”

Wheeler said this year’s event takes place at its traditional haunt.

“(It’s) at Krewe de Gras Midtown Tavern. They are such a great local business in supporting the community. They host us as they have three out of the last four years.”

Of course, Wheeler explained, the evening’s big attraction is the music. “The doors open at 6 p.m. The first performer is Corey McHugh. He does some amazing things with an acoustic guitar. He starts at 6:30. Tuesday Supper Club is playing our event for the first time. They call their music ‘funky, soul-folk.’ And then the band that has been with me every year from the beginning, the Fried Turkeys, they do their ‘greasy, hippie, roots, country.’ If you can’t have fun with the Fried Turkeys, you can’t have fun!”

But, Wheeler added, there are other enjoyable diversions.

“A full bar, food service, we’re going to have a silent auction and if any business would like to help us with silent auction items, we sure would appreciate that. It’s all on Saturday, August 11th.”

The entire evening being presented for a very good cause. “All proceeds benefit the Tallahassee Walk to End Alzheimer’s and the Alzheimer’s Association, which raises money for research, advocacy and assistance to people living with dementia and their caregivers,” Wheeler said.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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