Committee members and volunteers promote the “Memories & a Mustang” fundraiser, featuring a chance to win this 1966 Ford Mustang GT Fastback. The fundraiser will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
The 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
ALBANY, Ga. -- Between 2000 and 2008, the number of deaths attributed to breast cancer in this country fell by 3 percent. Prostate cancer deaths declined by 8 percent, heart disease deaths by 13 percent, stroke deaths by 20 percent and HIV deaths by 29 percent.
The number of Alzheimer's disease-related deaths rose during that time by 66 percent.
Because of the graying of the American population, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that the direct cost of the disease in America during 2012 will be $200 billion, including $140 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid.
Southwest Georgians pondering those sobering facts have a unique opportunity to help the Alzheimer's Association achieve its goals of having an effective treatment for Alzheimer's by the year 2025. And, with a little bit of luck, they might find themselves driving away with perhaps the coolest prize package ever given a winner.
The South Georgia Region of the Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and DOCO Federal Credit Union are presenting "Memories & a Mustang" July 12, the highlight of which is a reverse raffle that will land a lucky ticketholder a cherry 1966 Ford Mustang GT Fastback.
Volunteers are currently selling 400 available raffle tickets at $125 each.
"You can drive by Stardust Car Wash on Slappey Drive and check out the Mustang," Alzheimer's Association Georgia Chapter Development Director Dan Phillips said. "It's got a beautiful paint job, which was donated by Winchester Paint and Body, and it's in great condition.
"This is an opportunity for the people of Southwest Georgia to help in the fight against a disease that directly affects everyone and have an opportunity to win one of the coolest prizes ever."
Memories & a Mustang is the kickoff event of the local Alzheimer's Association chapter's participation in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's. The chapter, based in Tifton, earned one of 11 national "rising star" awards last year by raising more than $68,000. Phillips and the Albany Walk's event chair, Evie Carver, accepted the award at a meeting in San Diego.
But Phillips said the local group is not ready to rest on its laurels.
"Our goal for this year is $120,000," he said. "We had some wonderful sponsors last year -- Ms. Jane Willson, DOCO, Procter & Gamble, MillerCoors -- and we're hoping to add more as we help with efforts to wipe out Alzheimer's. Right now, the disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in our country, but all of the others in the Top 10 are in decline.
"President Obama recently signed legislation making treatment of Alzheimer's a priority. That's exciting news because there is no medicine on the market now that effectively treats the disease. To think of possibly knowing the cause and coming up with a treatment by 2025 is really amazing."
The reverse raffle Mustang tickets, which are available at all area DOCO branches, at Harvest Moon restaurant, online at www.mustangraffle.kintera.org or by calling (229) 903-3692 or (229) 388-8219, are part of an evening of fun that will kick off with a cocktail hour from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Merry Acres Event Center. The raffle begins at 6:30 p.m. and will continue throughout the evening.
Ticketholders will receive admission for two to the event, heavy hors d'oeuvres and an evening of dancing to the music of the Faith Jackson Band. Live and silent acutions will also be held.
"We have a weekend at Panama City, an autographed Matt Ryan football jersey, a 'Complete Baseball' magazine autographed by Ted Williams, a tea set signed by Nancy Lopez and tickets to a Monday-night Atlanta Falcons game when they play the Denver Broncos," Phillips said. "We have some really great items for the auctions."
Memories & a Mustang is the kickoff event leading up to the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's, which is scheduled for Oct. 13 at RiverFront Park in Albany. Other fundraising events scheduled include a motorcycle ride by the Remaining Few in Albany, the Miss Forget Me Not beauty pageant in Plains, a team fundraiser by Cycle World and restaurant/performer donations by Jason Carver and Travis Goodson.
"The great thing about raising funds for the Alzheimer's Association locally is that the money we raise stays here," said Ronnie Flowers, a volunteer who is helping with the marketing of Memories & a Mustang. "The local chapter has scheduled a number of family events that will allow the people of Southwest Georgia to help raise money for research right here in our communities. It's a win-win for everyone."
Information about Alzheimer's disease is available on the Web at www.alz.org. A 24/7 helpline is available by calling 1-800-272-3900, while Phillips may be contacted at dan.phillipsalz.org or by calling (229) 388-8219.