As anyone who has lived with, loved or lost a victim of Alzheimer’s knows, this disease is painful to bear, heart-breaking to watch and a grave concern for our society. There are many tragic symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but the most notable is the loss of memory.
Lost memories, confusion as to whereabouts and intents, a disposition that becomes foreign to what loved ones knew and remember, these are grave signs of Alzheimer’s, and each one has its serious consequences: Alzheimer patients behaving in an unusual way, losing the ability to drive safely, alienating the people that matter the most…
A Leduc couple were the caretakers of the husband’s father for a year or so, in their own home. “He (dad) had changed so much” shared the wife. “He wasn’t the sweet father-in-law I had respected and loved for decades. He was rough, accusing and volatile, often escaping our attentive supervision. It was terrible. I went on sabbatical to look after him, but it was almost more than we could handle.”
The Alzheimer Society of Canada is a national health charity that, among other critical duties, provides leadership and support to its provincial societies: each year, funds raised through numerous events are invested in support of programs and services that help people with dementia in our communities. In our region, the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories diligently plans its own fundraising events and also joins in national initiatives.
On Saturday June 20, thousands of Canadians participated in the “Walk for Alzheimer’s”: they paid tribute to a loved one who is living with dementia or one who has passed away from the disease, or they simply chose to support the Society’s mission.
The Pro-Am Face Off For Alzheimer’s each April is a critical fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research, awareness and education: the concept of NHL alumni playing with local teams who raise significant funds for the chance to play with their favourite hockey heroes has successfully united Albertans’ love for hockey, and their heartfelt desire to see Alzheimer’s eradicated.
On Sunday June 14, a large group of Alzheimer supporters gathered to enjoy the hospitality of Claude Nadeau and his wife Galina, owners of Zambelli’s Restaurant in Leduc. They had generously planned this function, with the support of Alan Howat, a dynamic supporter and promoter of the Pro-Am Face-Off Hockey Challenge.
The guests of honour were the iconic stars of the 1977 movie “Slap Shot”, brothers Jeff and Steve Carlson and their co-star and buddy Dave Hanson: despite the age of that movie release, the Hanson Brothers’ raucous personas seemed to appeal to many guests who were excited to meet them and pose for photos. The live auction bidding was fast and furious: more funds were raised for the cause, especially with the offer of a trip of a lifetime to Chicago for a baseball-filled week.
On Monday June 15 at Red Tail Landing golf course, the “Golf for Alzheimer’s Tournament” saw 120 golfers enjoying a full round, lunch, dinner, live and silent auctions and raise critical funds for ARSP (Alberta Alzheimer Research Program).
Regional supporters, 20 volunteers and high-profile golfers enjoyed the beautiful weather and Red Tail Landing hospitality. Among other athletes on the course, Louie DeBrusk, former NHL player and Oilers’ color commentator was obviously happy to be contributing with friends. With his lovely daughter Natalie helping, Claude Nadeau sponsored Hole 16 where he served his famous “Hole-in-one”, the little meatball stuck in a pita pocket. City of Leduc councillor Glen Finstad was among the golfing supporters, while his wife June was a volunteer.
Every good cause has its champions. Red Tail Landing, Zambelli’s Restaurant (Leduc), Clark Builders, Christenson Developments, Priority Mechanical and Konica Minolta are names you recognize, champions of the Golf For Alzheimer’s tournament. When you volunteer, donate, advocate and fundraise to support the Alzheimer’s cause, you become a champion. Because memories do matter.