"The Longest Day" recognizes Alzheimer's caregivers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

"The Longest Day" recognizes Alzheimer's caregivers

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

People across the globe, including hundreds of people in Albany, will take a stand in an event called, "The Longest Day," to show those facing Alzheimer's disease that they are not alone.

Peggy Prater, an Albany resident who lost her mother to Alzheimer's disease earlier this year, has planned a family music event at the Veteran's Park Amphitheatre, beginning at 5:00 p.m. today.

Funds raised will benefit the Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter, South Georgia Region.

"Come on out and enjoy an evening of music and help support a good cause," says organizer Peggy Prater. "We are asking a suggested donation of $6.00 for adults, $3.00 children under 12, and kids six and under free."

The event begins with a magic show and balloon characters for kids at 5 p.m., and continues at 5:30 with a dance performance by the group Forgiven. A bouncy house will be provided by Deep South Party rentals, and food vendors will be Kim and Tracy Jackson & Sonny's BBQ.

The Evergreen Family Band will take the stage at 6 p.m., followed by Willie Moody at 7. Entertainment continues, along with the daylight, with a performance by duo Barbara & Chip at 7:45, and an 8:30 performance by the Luke Martin band. The Southern Country band will bring on the night on "The Longest Day" at 9:30-11 p.m.

Alzheimer's disease is a growing epidemic and the nation's sixth leading cause of death. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, including nearly 200,000 Georgians. This number is estimated to grow to as many as 16 million by year 2050, according to the Alzheimer's Association® 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts & Figures report.

 Prater named her fundraising team for her mother, Jenny Riffle. "She was so strong -- she raised five children and had 10 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She was active in the Mormon church with a great faith. She was the most loving mama, nana and friend. Everyone who knew her loved her. She took such good care of herself.

"My mama struggled for five years with Alzheimer's. For her last several months she could not communicate with us or do anything for herself. She would only react to our presence occasionally. It was so hard to see such a wonderful strong woman become so weak and helpless.

"It was March 17 when my mama no longer remembered how to swallow. My sister and I sat at her bed side for five days and watched my mama's body shut down. My mama was always there fighting for us, that is why I am doing this it is for her. And because I never wish on any one to watch their mama die like I did. We need a cure!"

She said her family is also having a bake sale in Bainbridge that morning.

Teams are forming now for Albany's Walk to End Alzheimer's to be held Saturday, Oct. 19th at Riverfront Park. Tifton's Walk will be Saturday, Sept. 28, and Valdosta's Oct. 26. The web address to form or join a team or donate is www.georgiawalk.org

 

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