Senior Living

Coweta holds fundraisers to help end Alzheimer’s

by Bradley Hartsell

With the rise in personal challenges for diseases, medical fundraisers have become increasingly popular of late.

Benton House of Newnan recently brought the purple pie challenge to raise awareness for Alzherimer’s, while Newnan Health and Rehabilitation will host a fundraising dinner and silent auction.

The purple pie challenge was inspired by the ALS ice bucket challenge, according to Benton House’s Jennifer Miranda. In the ALS challenge that has gone nationwide, people are drenched with a bucket of ice water and post the video online in order to raise awareness for the ALS disease. Purple – the color for Alzheimer’s awareness – was the theme of a pie to be thrown into someone’s face in order to raise awareness for the debilitating disease of the elderly.

Benton House’s Donna Parrish challenged Miranda, Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager and the Coweta County Fire Department to raise awareness leading up to the Oct. 4 Walk to End Alzheimer’s being held in Peachtree City. Miranda says when someone is challenged they put up a video of the pie-to-the-face online. When someone declines, she says, they are to pay $100 to the Alzheimer’s Association to specifically support the Benton House’s relay team for the Oct. 4 walk.

Miranda completed the challenge and challenged Piedmont Newnan and Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional Medical Center officials to also take a pie to the face.

Sheriff Yeager declined the purple pie challenge as he had already committed to another Alzheimer’s awareness fundraiser in the dinner and silent auction Sept. 25 held by Newnan Health and Rehabilitation. While the first one was held in 2007, the now-annual second-year event is 5 to 9 p.m. at Ten East Washington for a dinner and a silent auction, as all proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“My mother is an in-resident patient there at Newnan Health & Rehabilitation, and I’ve done the dunk booths, I’ve taken pies to the face, I’ve even kissed pigs,” said Yeager. “I’ve done all kinds of outrageous things in the name of charity, and I love charities, but I decided not to participate in the purple pie challenge and I generously declined.”

“I’ll help any organization out that I can, and I’ll still be giving my money to the Alzheimer’s Association,” he added, as both fundraisers support the same cause. He added with a laugh, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, not through a pie in the face.”

With the growing medical field in Newnan – between Piedmont Newnan and CTCA – Miranda feels Coweta County needs to increase its ability to provide care for the aging population in the area.

“We can definitely do much better with treating Alzheimer’s. We’re aging longer and more people are being affected by it, so it’s really about getting the education out there,” said Miranda. “For instance, you don’t want to argue with an alzheimer’s patient, and we want to educate more people about that.”

“We don’t want to hide [Alzheimer’s patients], we want to help them, because it’s exhausting for caretakers” she added. “I think folks would be shocked how many people are affected by Alzheimer’s, as we have a lot of people who have early onset dementia, people in their early 60s.”

To contribute to Walk to End Alzheimer’s Oct. 4 in Peachtree City, visit www.alz.org/walk .



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