NEW HOPE >> Across the United States the Alzheimer's Association is commemorating Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month - creating public awareness about Alzheimer's disease and events like the Association’s nationwide fundraising initiative, The Longest Day - taking place on the day with the most light, the summer solstice, June 21.
The initiative enables participants to engage in any activity they want, or host any event they choose, like a cookout, to honor someone who is living with Alzheimer's or caring for someone who has it while raising funds for Alzheimer's research, care and support.
Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter board member, Phil Gutis, was diagnosed with Younger-Onset Alzheimer's in 2016 at the age of 54. The former New York Times reporter and New Hope resident is also the chapter's The Longest Day co-chair for the second consecutive year, along with husband, Tim Weaver.
This year, Gutis will host "Row2Remember," an event on June 23 at OAR Studio across the river in Lambertville, New Jersey, where he and fellow rowers plan to row. The higher the donations, the more they’ll row — up to one million meters.
“If we raise $5,000, the good folks at OAR have agreed to row 100,000 meters. If we can raise $10,000, we’ll row 250,000 meters and so on, up to one-million meters,” said Gutis. “We row to raise money for research and care of people living with Alzheimer’s.”
He hopes to raise $25,000.
Throughout the Delaware Valley region hundreds of other individuals or teams are participating in The Longest Day.
“Phil’s event is just one of hundreds of The Longest Day activities and events taking place in our area,” said Maggie Shope, the Delaware Valley Chapter’s The Longest Day coordinator. “And your activity or event doesn’t even have to take place on June 21. I can be any day before or after that — anytime throughout the year. We want people to select a date and time that work best for them.”
The Longest Day registration is still available at alz.org/TheLongestDay, where there is also more information about the nationwide initiative, as well as fundraising tips and activity suggestions, like painting parties, playing sports, baking sweet treats or anything anyone likes to do for fun.
Anyone with additional questions or who needs help with registration may call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.