The Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association is taking steps in Thomson to end Alzheimer's. The Thomson Memory Walk 2005 will be Saturday Oct. 22, and the Thomson Dinner and Auction will be Thursday, Oct. 27.
Carrie Valentine, director of the Alzheimer's Association, talks during the Oct. 13 Thomson Rotary Club meeting.
Photo by Staff
Proceeds from both events will support the programs and services offered by the Alzheimer's Association in the CSRA, which includes McDuffie County, such as a 24-hour information and referral helpline, Alzheimer's support kits, community support groups, counseling, education, and assistance, said Camille Ruddick, a Thomson volunteer for the Alzheimer's Association.
According to information provided by the association, Alzheimer's is a complex, progressive disease that destroys cells in the brain, affecting approximately 4.5 million Americans. Common symptoms include memory loss, problems with reasoning or judgment, disorientation, inability to perform routine tasks and personality changes.
"My take on Alzheimer's is I think it's more difficult for the caregiver than it is for the patient, because once (the patient is) past that early stage of anxiety and agitation, they can't remember, but the caregiver can't forget. That's the hardest part, is it's constantly in their face," Ms. Ruddick said.
Registration for the Memory Walk will begin at 8:30 a.m., Saturday at the walking track of First Baptist Church of Thomson. Individuals or teams may collect donations to bring Saturday morning for the one-mile walk. Team packets are available but not necessary. A t-shirt is given to those who have at least $100 in donations.
"Unfortunately, it's hard for the Alzheimer's Association to gain support in some respects because we don't have survivors," said Mrs. Ruddick. "Other diseases have somebody that can stand up and say they beat the odds. Until Alzheimer's affects you personally, I think it's hard to comprehend where somebody is and how it affects the family."
The Dinner and Auction will be at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27 at The Depot. Tickets are $15 per person. The steak and potato dinner will include side items provided by Cisco and desserts donated by local caterers.
Auction items include a comforter, ladies' watch, art, chandelier, rugs by Shaw Industries, Blind Willie Blues Festival tickets, and other items. Mayor Bob Knox will be the auctioneer.
"It will be a fun evening," said Carrie Valentine, director of the Alzheimer's Association. "Mayor Knox always makes it more fun."
For more information, team packets for the Memory Walk, or tickets for the Steak Dinner and Auction, contact Camille Ruddick at 595-6436, or the Alzheimer's Association Augusta Regional Office at 1-800-272-3900.