The charitable dinner for the local Alzheimer Society on Saturday night at La Place Rendez-Vous was a success—bringing in almost $3,000 that will be used locally to help people affected by the disease and their families.
“It was a really fun evening,” enthused executive director Rossana Tomashowski.
She noted numbers were down slightly from last year, with about 50 people attending.
“It was just due to some unforeseen circumstances,” Tomashowski explained, noting they normally have a larger turnout for the annual “Forget Me Not” dinner.
“But we’re still getting something back,” she stressed.
“Every little bit helps.”
The meal featured a roasted red pepper and Parmesan soup, an entree of herb and cheese stuffed chicken with mushroom demi glaze, a vegetable medley, and rice pilaf, followed by cherry cheesecake for dessert.
There also was entertainment provided by local singer Brittany Strachan, as well as a silent auction and a raffle.
“We had many wonderful prizes that were donated by local businesses in Fort Frances,” Tomashowski said.
“They’ve always been very generous towards our dinner.”
Johnathan Price, of 93.1 The Border, served as emcee for the evening while remarks about the Alzheimer Society were made by Tomashowski and local Client Services co-ordinator Mary O’Connor.
“We have a lot of fundraising activities,” Tomashowski noted during her address, saying that is one of the ways the society supports its service delivery.
“We have a number of well-attended annual events that are supported by the communities, and we’re so grateful for the support and all the generous people,” she added.
One of those fundraisers was the “Coffee Break Challenge” that happened in January, with organizations throughout the Kenora-Rainy River districts hosting their own coffee breaks.
There’s also the “Walk for Memories” (which has been renamed the “Walk for Alzheimer’s”) in Fort Frances, Kenora, and Dryden.
“Last year we had the most successful walk,” Tomashowski enthused.
“Fort Frances was amazing,” she added. “We raised the most in the last few years that I’ve known.”
That event is expected to take place again in June.
Meanwhile, the annual book sale is slated for Feb. 18-20 at Revco here, with Tomashowski noting they”re seeking donations of books (drop off by Feb. 8) and volunteers.
And the “Ride for Memories” also is planned to be held once again this summer.
“[It’s] a motorcycle ride throughout the Kenora-Rainy River districts, ending with a steak dinner, alternating host locations in the district, attracting over 140 riders,” Tomashowski explained.
“And this year it is ending in Fort Frances so we’re very excited about that.”
She added these events also help provide awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.
Tomashowski said they host the annual charitable dinner to help meet their budget, as well as be able to provide all the necessary services to those in both districts who require them.
“We only receive 45 percent of our budget [so] 55 percent must come from the communities, from fundraising events such as the dinner,” she explained.
The dinner is held each January as part of Alzheimer Awareness Month.
Tomashowski also mentioned the #Still Here campaign that was launched last month.
“Life doesn’t end when Alzheimer’s begins,” she remarked.
“People living with dementia can continue to participate in life and contribute to their communities–in their own way, even as the disease progresses.”
Some 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias today, and the number is expected to increase to 1.4 million over the next 15 years.
If you would like to volunteer, or want more information about the Alzheimer’s Society, call 1-800-682-0245.