Hello Rochester: The Longest Day to #EndAlz
Updated: Jun 9, 2021
Julie DeMersman is the Event Specialist at the Alzheimer's Association, Rochester and Finger Lakes Chapter. In addition to managing The Longest Day fundraiser and The Walk to End Alzheimer's, she works with constituents to reach their fundraising goals and she offers support when needed.
1. Is fundraising for the Alzheimer's Association important? Why or why not?
Of course! This week, the Association shared the 2021 Facts and Figures. In 2020, there were over 5 million Americans living with the disease and this year there are over 6 million. The number of Alzheimer's cases has increased 16% since the start of COVID-19. Through our fundraising efforts, we enhance the free programs, services and education for our community. Funds raised from our signature fundraisers, the Walk & Longest Day, also support local research & advocacy.
2. What is The Longest Day Fundraiser?
People from across the world, choose an activity that they love to do and turn it into a fundraiser. This DIY event is flexible and can work with any schedule. Some examples of local fundraisers include bake sales, running for donations, golf, soccer and pickle-ball tournaments as well as Facebook fundraising.
3. How can people participate in The Longest Day Fundraiser?
Participants can start their efforts by registering at alz.org/thelongestday. Then select the activity of your choice to turn into a fundraiser. You can share your story on your participant center as well as set up a Facebook fundraiser to get started.
4. What is the correlation between the longest day of the year and Alzheimer's?
June 20 is the Summer Solstice, the day with the most light. We celebrate on the summer solstice to fight the darkness of Alzheimer's disease.
5. What inspires you to #endalz every day?
My Grandma passed away from Vascular dementia in 2018. It was a long journey for her and our family. During her time living with the disease, we watched her slowly slip away and become someone else. It was really hard watching her yell at my Grandpa for being a stranger after they had been married for over 65 years. The disease also really impacted my Grandpa's health as her main caregiver. Today, there are over 6 million Americans living with the disease that are going through similar situations. The disease robbed us of Grandma and I want to the community to know that our Association is there to provide free programs, support, and education. I want to see the first survivor of Alzheimer's!