“We Support You Not To Win Broncos Tickets, But Because What You Do Is Important”

Hindorff
Tom Hindorff‎ as he accepted a pair of AFC Divisional Playoff tickets to the Broncos vs Colts game.

“We support you not to win Broncos tickets, but because what you do is important,” said Tom Hindorff‎ as he accepted a pair of AFC Divisional Playoff tickets to the Broncos vs Colts game on Friday. Long time Alzheimer’s Association supporters and Broncos fans, Tom and his wife Jenny were quick to enter a ticket giveaway held by the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter.

Following Pat Bowlen’s Alzheimer’s announcement at the start of the NFL season, along with the subsequent impact of the Bronco’s community partnership on Alzheimer’s awareness throughout Colorado, the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter wanted to reward Broncos fans for their support of the Alzheimer’s cause. For four days last week, Broncos fans and Alzheimer’s Association supporters were encouraged to sign up for the Association’s monthly email newsletter, for a chance to win a pair of AFC Divisional Playoff tickets. Thanks to television coverage by 9News and social media coverage by the Denver Broncos, word of available Broncos tickets quickly circulated and the response was overwhelming. More than 8,450 people signed up for a chance to win tickets. On Tuesday, the day the giveaway was announced, alz.org/co attracted 7,720 visitors. On the same day in 2014, the website had 248 visitors. Delighted by the positive response to the giveaway by Broncos fans, a generous longtime Alzheimer’s Association supporter donated an additional four tickets! Bringing the total tickets available to eight.

Broncos Ticket Giveaway Winner
Alzheimer’s Association CEO Linda Mitchell with Cassandra Campbell, one of four ticket winners.
Tom and Jenny Hindorff show their support for the Alzheimer's cause at Sunday's Bronco game.
Tom and Jenny Hindorff show their support for the Alzheimer’s cause at Sunday’s Bronco game.

On Friday, the four lucky winners were announced. The winners could not have been more excited after receiving a personal call from the Broncos and the Alzheimer’s Association. Tom Hindorff remarked that winning the tickets was, “a dream come true for me and my wife. We even found child care and will wear orange and purple to thank the Alzheimer’s Association.”

Although many fans left Sports Authority Field feeling deflated on Sunday night following the Broncos’ loss to the Colts, for those who won tickets while supporting a great cause the loss was easier to stomach. “Even though the Broncos lost, we still had a lot of fun,”  said Edward Rose.

Edward Rose enjoying the Broncos game.
Edward Rose enjoying the Broncos playoff game.
 checkoff-colorado-2015-alzheimers-association

Why I Walk To End Alzheimer’s – The Gali Family Story

My grandfather - Ricardo Gali
My grandfather – Ricardo Gali

 

We have chosen to join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in honor for my grandfather Ricardo Gali who passed away from Alzheimer’s in December 2012 at the age of 97. My family has a unique background story which is why I feel my grandfather fought for so long and so hard.

 

My grandfather, grandmother were born and raised in Havana Cuba. When my mother was 2 years old they began their journey to America. My grandparents went through some very frightening events to get to America, including coming very close to being shot for sneaking milk to my mother and uncle (he was 1 at the time). From the minute my grandfather touched American soil he expressed how grateful he was to be here and how important family was. This was passed on to all of the grandchildren from a young age. I have very fond memories of my grandfather teaching us what it meant to be a part of a family that escaped Cuba unharmed. My grandfather always made sure we did everything as a family.

Growing up I thought it was normal to always have family gatherings with extended cousins, great aunts etc. As I got older I realized how unique we were and cherished it even more. My grandfather was always a very active person and never believed in hiring anyone to do anything, rather do it all himself. As time went on I saw the change in my grandfather and saw him getting more and more frustrated with things that seemed effortless not too long prior. As time went on we all started to see not only the affect on him but also my grandmother as she was the main care taker for him, but never once gave up. We all helped out where we could constantly visiting and staying late to make sure my grandmother had help and had someone to talk to when there were bad days.

My grandfather and Grandmother a few years prior to my grandfather passing away.
My grandfather and Grandmother a few years prior to my grandfather passing away.

3 years prior to my grandfather passing he began falling a lot and my grandmother could not help him back up, so all of the children and grandchildren moved our family’s to be closer so there was always someone minutes away in case of an emergency. Shortly after we all moved I saw the values that my grandfather constantly talked about come to life. My grandfather had fallen, but this time he had hurt himself pretty bad and we had to call the ambulance. Within minutes of us getting the call that he fell and needed a hospital we were all at my grandparent’s house to help out and keep my grandmother calm. As the ambulance took him away we all followed. The hospital had about 30 people sitting in the waiting room to hear about my grandfather. Towards the end things got harder but we never gave up and spent as much time as possible with him knowing time was coming to an end.

 

It will be 2 years in December since my grandfather has passed and our family has only bonded closer and stronger. We are all still hurt over his passing but know he is watching over us. We still gather for every holiday, birthday, and just because, because that is how he would of wanted it and that is how he liked our family, close together and spreading endless love between each other. This is why we will be participating as a family in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Denver City Park on September 20, 2014 to honor Ricardo Gali.

-Mallerie Lapp

The Longest Day 2014

On The Longest Day, June 21, 2014, teams around the world came together to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer’s with a day of activity. Worldwide, 2,713 participants  and 1,113 teams raised millions of dollars to advance the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s largest voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Colorado had 55 Longest Day teams, the most in the nation! Collectively, Coloradans raised over $62,000. What’s more, team members and communities came together to raise Alzheimer’s awareness from sunrise to sunset. Here are a few of their stories:

Josephine's Team -Team Ceja
Josephine’s Team -Team Ceja

 

Josephine’s Team -Team Ceja honored their mother with a motorcycle rally and poker tournament.  They raised over $1,500 through their Texas Hold ‘Em” tournament.

 

 

Team Climbing For A Cause
Team Climbing For A Cause

 

Team Climbing For A Cause summited three 14ers near Breckenridge,Colorado: Mt.Democrat, Mt.Lincoln, and Mt.Bross.

Team Boulder

 

 

 


Team Boulder partook in 16 hours of running, biking, hiking, lunching at the Farmers Market, and a wonderful Potluck and Sunset Ceremony

 

 

Team NuStepping to End Alzheimer’s

 

 

Team NuStepping to End Alzheimer’s encouraged residents to stay active throughout the day.

Team Supportive Friends

 

 

 

 

Team Supportive Friends walked, ran, and cycled around Lake Arbor during the day. At night, they gathered on the deck for an evening of live music.

 

 

Jan and Warren Spaulding

 

 

Jan and Warren Spaulding celebrated their 62nd Wedding Anniversary on The Longest Day. They hiked the trails with Sara’s Scramblers in Evergreen.

 

Griffin and Lily Reed

 

 

 

Griffin and Lily Reed, raised $191 by telling friends and family, “Our good friend Bill died of this terrible disease and we don’t want that to happen to anyone else.”

 

 

Team Zumba

 

Team Zumba danced from sunrise to sunset.

 

 

 

Ollie From The Top Of Mt.Bross
Dog Kayaking
Mowgli riding a kayak around Lake Arbor.

 

 

 

 

 

Even dogs got involved in the cause!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The energy on the Longest Day was truly contagious with 1,113 teams participating across the country, including 55 teams right here in Colorado. Thank you to all of the teams who were part of such a special event! Together, you are making difference on The Longest Day and every day!

Why I Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Adam’s Story

My mom, Nancy Leonard.
My mom, Nancy Leonard.

 

My mom, Nancy Leonard, died from Alzheimer’s disease on Valentine’s Day 2013. Her mother, Betty Stoffregen, is in a nursing home in Lubbock, Texas still struggling with this horrible disease. I am devoting my team’s cause to remember my mom and for the struggle that my grandmother goes through still today.

 

My mom was a school teacher in a small town in Eastern Colorado (Bethune School). She was such a wonderful person that always thought about others first and was truly dedicated to teaching her students. After her retirement in 2008 she moved to Dodge City, Kansas to take care of my grandmother with dementia. They then moved to Lubbock,Texas to be closer to family. To make a long story short, my mom, while taking care of her mother with dementia, began showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

She eventually moved in with me and my roommates in Denver in 2010. I was 28 years old. We did our best to take care of her through all of the ups and downs – through her going out for walks and getting lost and having the police bring her home – through her having hallucinations – through her ending up in a nursing home. We got to a point where we needed outside help. We hired a company to have a nurse come over every day while we were at work to take care of her. We eventually needed to move her to Brookshire House in late 2011. The staff and the facility were such a joy and wonder to work with they actually helped my mom get to the point where she could talk again. I was able to talk to her every day on the phone. However, the disease eventually progressed and she was moved into a secure section of the nursing home. She started to fall regularly, then she stopped eating, and the end result we all know…

My mom was 60 years old when she died. She had so much life to give. My mom was such an influential person in my life and having to go through this at such a young age on both our parts was a life changing event. I think that the Alzheimer’s Association is such a wonderful organization because people need to understand how this is going to affect their lives. This disease doesn’t care how old you are, it doesn’t care how it hurts the ones you love, it is relentless, it is ruthless, it is cruel. The only thing that you can do is be prepared and know what to expect. You have to be financially ready and of sound mind to even begin to handle something of this magnitude.

I miss my mom daily and only hope that we can come together as a human race so that nobody has to go through this again. That’s why I will be participating in this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Denver City Park on September 20, 2014.

 

Hyatt Transforms into an Art Gallery for Alzheimer’s Association

Board Chair Sarah Lorance and her husband Michael enjoy An Elegant Evening of Art benefiting the Alzheimer's Association of Colorado
Board Chair Sarah Lorance and her husband Michael enjoy An Elegant Evening of Art benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado

The annual Alzheimer’s Association Memories in the Making (MIM) Art Auction was held at the DTC Hyatt and raised more than $250,000 to support families living with Alzheimer’s as well as research to find better treatments and eventually a cure. This year’s theme, An Elegant Evening of Art, was well emphasized throughout the second floor lobby of the Hyatt with stunning framed watercolors created by those with Alzheimer’s disease and original works donated by local professional artists.

Many returning professionals were in attendance this year including Martin Lambuth, Margaretta Caesar, Cheryl St. John, Tammi Otis, Lisa Hut, Frances Gottlieb, Al Murphy, Jean Shom, Amy Winter, Marin Dobson, Shawn Shea, Anne Aguirre, Kay Landen, and Madeleine O’Connell. Duke Beardsley’s painting of cowboys on canvas and Roxanne Rossi’s gorgeous black and white laquer dress titled Afternoon Tea were two of the pairings that saw rapid fire bidding from the more than 550 guests during the live auction hosted by 9News anchor Kim Christiansen. Her son Tanner helped out the cause by walking the catwalk with artwork while mom shared poignant stories about the paintings and the artists who created them.

Rich and Julie Wham check out the Duke Beardsley pairing for the live auction which went to an anonymous bidder for a record $13,250
Rich and Julie Wham check out the Duke Beardsley pairing for the live auction which went to an anonymous bidder for a record $13,250

The highest bid ever for the Association was $13,250 for Beardsley’s piece paired with a watercolor of two cowboys, while Rossi’s dress and its pairing of a Red Strapless Dior Dress went to Stephen Koch and Donna Herlehey for $4100. Other high bids included: Gary and Donna Antonoff on a series of watercolors titled Roses paired with Love for Growth by artist Laurie Maves. Jim and Zodie Livingston whose successful bid earned them the watercolor titled Aspen paired with a beautiful oil painting by Margaretta Caesar.

It was an amazing evening celebrating and honoring the work of artists who paint in our Memories in the Making (MIM) program, which is offered at no cost across the state. We are so thankful to all of the sponsors and bidders in our silent and live auctions. We are also especially grateful to the families who donated the MIM watercolors as well as all the wonderful professional artists who donated an original work for pairing with an Alzheimer’s watercolor or for contributing a palette for our silent auction.

Linda Mitchell, Association CEO and Art Auction Steering Committee Chair Tom O'Donnell share a moment after hearing the total raised exceed expectations at more than $250,000.
Linda Mitchell, Association CEO and Art Auction Steering Committee Chair Tom O’Donnell share a moment after hearing the total raised exceed expectations at more than $250,000.

Other special guests attending the Denver auction this year included Sunday Mann, Susie Frey, Ted Shipman, Alex Speros, Dr. Gene Eby, Tim and Kathy VanMeter, Lisa and Ed Hut, Dick and Norma Auer, Courtney Sipperley, Leslie Liedtke, Sally Haas, Bonnie Perkins, Julie and Rich Wham, Mike Spriggs, William Brummett, Gary, Sandy and Scott Autrey, Barbara and Lee Mendel, Melinda Quiat, and Alzheimer’s Association Board members Tom O’Donnell, Tom Hurley and his wife Jeri, Adam Duerr and his wife Ali, Sid Okes and his guest Shari Gillespie, JJ Jordan and her husband Tim, Kristy Tochihara, Venetia Marshall, Chris Binkley and his wife Linda, Linda Peotter and her husband Jeff, Board Chair Sarah Lorance and her husband Michael, Association President and CEO Linda Mitchell and her husband Ken Neeper.

Linda MitchellLinda Mitchell,
Alzheimer’s Association
President and CEO
Click here to view photos from the event

Tackling Alzheimer’s Disease

My Mom. The reason I participate in Blondes vs. Brunettes.
My Mom. The reason I participate in Blondes vs. Brunettes.

My mom has always loved Christmas, everything about it; the decorations, the cookies, the songs, the Christmas themed sweaters (that I would roll my eyes at), and especially the family time and traditions. She really made the whole season so joyous for all of us with her child-like excitement. So it was heart-breaking when 6 years ago on December 26th, she turned to me and said ‘I can’t wait for Christmas this year.’ We had just celebrated yesterday, but it was clear she had already forgotten about it; she had forgotten about our time together as a family, about the gifts we had given her, and the traditional family dinner we all shared. She was not able to experience the joy that she typically had before Alzheimer’s. I could not manage to tell her that we already celebrated, so I turned away as tears came to my eyes and responded with, ‘I know. I can’t wait either. I love Christmas.’

I wanted her to be able to hold onto that hope and excitement even for just a minute. I was so sad for her and for our family and I’d like… no I need to see a world where conversations like this don’t happen.

Cari MackaySo that is why, this year, I am again participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Blondes vs. Brunettes, a nationwide women’s flag-football league created to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. I am involved in honor of my mother who is slipping away from us and in support of my father who took on the extremely difficult and emotionally challenging job of caregiver for so many years. I am taking on this challenge with the hope that other families will not have to live with Alzheimer’s.

My team and I are training, fundraising, and preparing for game day, but win or lose, our true goal is a world without Alzheimer’s! This event gives me hope and I can’t wait for the game-day! Go BruCrew!

– Cari Mackay, YPAAC Board of Directors Chair

Team Brunettes 2013.
Team Brunettes 2013.

The Brunettes will take on the Blondes this Saturday, June 14th at 11 a.m.
The game is being played at University of Denver Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
To purchase tickets click here.

Memories in the Making Art Goes Beyond the Paintbrush

The Alzheimer’s Association Memories in the Making® art program often enables individuals to reach outside of their dementia and paint a picture that reconnects them with a past memory. These documented memories become powerful tools that reassure family and caregivers that the essence of the individual is still there. Sometimes, long held memories emerge in the form of a painting. Such was the case for Ruth Bibbs, a Memories in the Making artist.

While at the InnovAge Chambers Center, with the encouragement of a volunteer art facilitator, Ruth was inspired to paint a picture reconnecting her to a long lost sibling.

William's Plan by Ruth Briggs, Memories in the Making Artist
William’s Plane by Ruth Briggs

When asked to describe her painting titled “William’s Plane” Ruth replied, “I was inspired to draw this. My brother flew in WWII. Although it might not have been what he flew, it inspired me. His name was William Booker and he was a Tuskegee Airman. I was very young when he was flying so I don’t remember details very well. I do know he enjoyed flying. My mother had a picture of him in a plane and she was very proud of him.”

Inspired by the story, staff members began to research Ruth’s brother in hopes of reconnecting them. The two had not been in contact for quite some time. Unfortunately, through internet research staff members discovered that William Booker passed away a few weeks after Ruth’s painting of the plane. However, the internet search for William Booker also revealed that Ruth’s painting was not the first time the Flight Engineer for the 477th Bomber Group had been immortalized through art. As it turns out, an artist by the name of Chris Hopkins created a charcoal drawing of William Booker for his Tuskegee Airman Project.

William Booker by Chris Hopkins
William Booker by Chris Hopkins

Upon learning of the connection, staff members at the InnovAge Chambers Center contacted Chris Hopkins and shared a photo of Ruth’s painting with him. Chris was thrilled when he learned of Ruth’s painting and the story behind it. He responded by telling Ruth that her painting had, “really made his day,” and he sent Ruth a large copy of the charcoal portrait he had created of William. She was overjoyed when she received the artwork, to her it was much more than a portrait.

It is stories like this that make the Alzheimer’s Association Memories in the Making Art Program so special. Often the beautiful landscapes or abstract watercolors come to mean so much more for the families of the Memories in the Making artists. They tell long forgotten stories, offer glimpses into a person’s past, and provide families with a treasured memory of a life well lived.

While this painting was featured in our 2013 art auction, there are many wonderful selections available in Memories in the Making Art Auctions being held in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Ft. Collins this May and June. If you are interested in attending this year’s event or sponsoring one of our Memories in the Making Art Auctions, please click here.

50 Marathons At Age 50 For Alzheimer’s

David KnappHi there! My name is David Knapp and in celebration of turning 50 this year I plan on running 50 marathons in memory of my mother Audrey Jean Knapp who died of Alzheimer’s in 2001. I hope to raise $50,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado and the 72,000 Coloradans living with the disease.

I know what many of you are thinking, “David, 50 marathons at age 50 is an absurd goal.

However, a favorite teacher once told me, “Always chase windmills. Even if they call you a crazy old man – keep chasing windmills. The day you stop chasing windmills is the day you die.” Taking that advice to heart, I firmly believing that the fatigue and injuries one endures during a “noble quest” (to quote Cervantes’ knight errant) are but a small price to pay for all the richness and rewards that the noble quest provides. Watching my Mom deteriorate as the disease progressed was undoubtedly the most emotionally painful experience of my life. But watching the physical, mental, and emotional toll it took on my father as he tried to care for her was a close second. So the challenge of running 50 marathons in one year will pale in comparison to what Dad went through as her caregiver.

David Knapp - Running Chicago Marathon
David Knapp – Running the Chicago Marathon

Just so you know, I’m no stranger to marathon challenges. In 2004, I ran 40 marathons during the calendar year to celebrate turning 40 years old. So running 50 to raise money for this incredible organization is a natural progression. I know it won’t be easy, but I want to complete next year’s quest to help others – the individuals who are dealing with this terrible disease, as well as their family members who are facing the difficult and heart-wrenching experience that my family went through with Mom.

Please help me reach my “50 Marathons for $50,000” goal by donating whatever you can. Keep in mind that many businesses and corporations have donation-matching policies in place – so if you could ask about that at your workplace, I’d greatly appreciate it. Also, I’m looking for corporate sponsors to help offset the tremendous costs involved in registering for and traveling to races, so please let me know if your organization would be willing to help with that aspect of the marathon quest.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. Together, we can help researchers find the critical medical breakthrough that one day will lead to a world without Alzheimer’s.

-David

You can follow David’s adventures before, during, and after the marathon quest at:

Fundraising page: act.alz.org/goto/DavidKnapp
Twitter: twitter.com/DrDavidKnapp
Facebook: facebook.com/ChasingWindmills50

Polar Plunge Participant Judy: Freezing the Day for Alzheimer’s

January 1, 2012:

The day was clear and sunny but a biting wind made my upcoming plunge into the freezing waters that much more daunting. As I inched forward in line my anticipation increased as to what I perceived as my upcoming shock and pain. And then my thoughts shifted to my Grandmother and the shock and pain that she and my family endured as the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease took root on her body and mind. I thought to myself “nothing can compare to that pain”.

Polar Plunge for Alzheimer's
Judy and Mike Halloran at the Polar Plunge
So my anticipation became one of excitement and determination. I do this plunge for my grandmother! I plunge to remember and honor her and to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association in her name. A photographer snapped my picture as I ran into the water; my expression was one of surprise but sheer delight! The shock was over before I knew it but the effort I put into fundraising lives on. I started 2012 off with a smile on my face and a new found alertness in my body that I can make a difference in the lives of those living with this chilling disease. It is my hope that those generous donations from my family and friends has helped provide warmth to those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caretakers. It is also my hope that I am making my Grandmother proud. And so I plunge again, this time without any fear.
See you January 1, 2013!

-Judy

You can register for the 30th Anniversary Polar Plunge at Boulder Reservoir by visiting YPAAC.org/PolarPlunge

Polar Plungers Freeze the day
Freeze the day with YPAAC at the 2013 Polar Plunge!

Why I Walk-Lise Maes

As the Walk to End Alzheimer’s approaches, Lise Maes, Walk Committee Member and Team Captain, shares why she walks:

The main reason I participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is to pay tribute to my grandmother who suffered in an 8 year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.  She was a great source of love and light in my life.  Watching her deterioration due to Alzheimer’s was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever experienced.

I’ll be quite honest – the Walk is also a way for me to transform the negative energy that resulted from losing someone I love to the cruelest disease imaginable.

I’m still very angry that my grandmother was taken from me in such an unfair way. She slowly but surely lost her memory, her independence and her ability to determine reality.  In addition, she lost the ability to carry out a number of practical routines that many of us take for granted – driving, cooking, walking, getting dressed, bathing and swallowing. As I continue to work on coming to terms with what she went through and with her absence in my life, the Walk provides a positive way to cope and to channel my energy into doing something positive to make a difference.

As I witnessed the painful effects Alzheimer’s had on my family, I started asking myself why the disease didn’t receive more attention and more funding.  I was motivated to change that, so I got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association and its largest fundraiser, Memory Walk – now called the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  It’s been a great experience gathering together with family, friends, caregivers and concerned community members who all want to make a difference.

By raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and fundraising for a cure, we can change the lives of those who are battling the disease and those who generously and tirelessly provide care for the afflicted.  It is so important that we step up and act as a strong and united force against this disease.  This is how we pay our tribute to those we have lost and this is how we ensure our ultimate goal – a world without Alzheimer’s.

Why I Walk: For Nana

Why do you participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s?  Let us know at Facebook.com/alzco and you could be featured in a future blog post!