Alzheimer dinner deemed success
Despite some icy weather and the unfavourable local economy, organizers of this year’s charitable dinner for the Alzheimer Society of Kenora-Rainy River Districts, held Saturday night at La Place Rendez-Vous, deemed it a success.
“I thought it was great,” enthused “First Link” and public education co-ordinator Eleanor Barron.
Entitled “Forget Me Not,” the event included a tasty meal, featuring a main course of pork tenderloin with fig stuffing and apple mustard sauce, along with local entertainment, a silent auction, and raffles.
Local volunteer Faye Flatt, who helped organized the event, estimated about $3,500 was raised, although the official tally still was not known as of press time today.
“We sold about the same number of tickets as last year,” she noted, saying attendance was down last year partly because the dinner was held in March and there were a number of conflicting events going on.
The dinner was moved back to January this year, which coincides with “Alzheimer Awareness Month.” But given the icy roads and the downturn in the economy, there wasn’t much of an increase in attendance.
“One of these years we’ll get it just right and have a full house,” Flatt vowed.
Regardless, the atmosphere of the event was light and everyone had a good time.
“I thought the music was excellent,” stressed Barron, citing the song selections were very appropriate.
“It just seemed like a house party sort of thing,” she added. “People were having fun.”
The entertainment was provided by Renée Martin-Brown, Ken Brown, Taylor Shouldice, Ericka Tymkin, and the duo of Wayne and Danette McIntyre.
Flatt noted the Society’s executive director, Lynn Moffatt, was unable to attend due to the icy road conditions, which cause a few little glitches since she was bringing some of the prize items.
“But all things considered, the evening was a success,” Flatt said.
“We even had some new faces that had never attended before, which was great.”
Flatt added she has some new ideas to help make next year’s event bigger and better. But she also feels it would help to address the stigma attached to Alzheimer’s Disease, and particularly dementia.
“People don’t like to talk about it,” she conceded, though stressing it isn’t something that should be hidden away or be embarrassed by.
That’s why the Alzheimer Society has launched a nation-wide campaign entitled, “See me, not my disease. Let’s talk about dementia.”
Its goal is to address the myths about the disease, change attitudes, and make it easier to talk about dementia.
Barron, who addressed those on hand for the dinner, also encouraged people to test their attitudes and perceptions in an online quiz at www.alzheimer.ca
“It really makes you think,” she noted.
Barron also noted another event set to take place next Tuesday (Jan. 22) from 1-3 p.m. at the Super 8 Motel, hosted by the Alzheimer Society and Rainycrest Family Council.
Caregiver Helen Cone will share her experience with dementia.
“It might be something that’s of interest to people who are concerned about possible dementia problems,” Barron said, noting Cone will talk about things she noticed and discovered in retrospect.
“I think it puts a real human face to the disease and to the job of the caregiver,” she remarked, adding it’s very brave of Cone to share such a personal story.
“Her reasoning for doing it is because she wants to reduce the stigma, too, and help other people feel they can come forward and share with their friends in order to get the support they need,” Barron explained.
There also will be a presentation on the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“It should be an interesting afternoon and everyone is invited to attend,” Barron said.
For more information about the upcoming event, or about any of the Alzheimer Society’s services or programs, call 1-800-682-0245.