Longest Day event promotes Alzheimers awareness

Published 10:06 am Friday, June 27, 2014

The Memory Walkers of Washington Parish braved a steamy summer day Saturday to promote Alzheimer’s awareness through their Longest Day event.

During the event, which began just before 6 a.m., organization members and community supporters gathered near the main stage at the fairgrounds in Franklinton. They socialized, discussed the group’s Alzheimer’s education and fundraising activities and enjoyed a meal of barbecued chicken and sides.

President Kreig Todd said the Longest Day is scheduled to coincide with the summer solstice, June 21.

“It is a sunrise-to-sunset event to honor the care, strength and compassion of Alzheimer’s patients, family members and caregivers,” he said.

As part of the event, participants also walked around the fairgrounds for a while, and some organization members went into town to speak with citizens and provide information about Alzheimer’s disease, Todd said.

He said the group’s inaugural Longest Day was a success, with people trickling in and out throughout the event and a persistent few sticking it out all day.

The event concluded with a candlelight vigil at the fairgrounds, featuring Leann Adcox’s rendition of the song “Go Light Your World.”

The Memory Walkers have a busy summer and fall ahead, with several events planned.

The first will be a softball tournament in late July or early August, followed by the organization’s 5K fundraiser Sept. 13 at the fairgrounds.

A Poker Run motorcycle event is scheduled to take place in November, and the Memory Walkers will take part in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Nov. 15 in Mandeville, as well.

Additionally, Vice President Sandra McDaniel provided information about an Alzheimer’s support group.

Free and open to Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers and family members, the group meets the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Franklinton.

“It’s a place for people to go and talk about what’s going on in their lives,” she said. “Caregivers come and get support and information from other caregivers.”