Alzheimer's Outreach Center fundraiser to contribute to new building

The permit process is wrapping up for construction to begin on a new building for the Alzheimer’s Outreach Center, which will be at 229 N. Jackson St. in Albany.

ALBANY — The Swinging ’60s Beach Blast, the annual blast from the past fundraiser conducted by the Alzheimer’s Outreach Center, will be held this year at The Bindery at Oakland on Sept. 6.

The focus of the Blast will be bringing in the financial resources to recover from the blow sustained during Hurricane Michael — a process that is leading toward a groundbreaking on a new building.

The fundraiser kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at The Bindery, located at 445 W. Oakland Parkway in Leesburg, and will feature the “Blast Band,” whose members volunteer their time by performing at the event each year.

The decorations at the dinner, like the music, will be consistent with the ’60s beach theme.

“The band is bigger and better,” Nancy Goode, development director for the center, said. “Everyone loves the beach, and everyone loves beach music.

“The people that attend this event are mostly baby boomers.”

The family of Margaret Jo Hogg, a retired teacher who is a former client of the the center, is the benefactor for the building itself. The Swinging ’60s Beach Blast is raising funds for the items that will go inside the building, such as furniture and equipment.

The permit and bidding processes are wrapping up for construction to begin on the building, which will be at 229 N. Jackson St. in Albany. A groundbreaking for the facility, expected to be 5,954 square feet, twice the size of the building on North Jefferson Street that was destroyed by the hurricane, is anticipated in mid-September.

Once the groundbreaking is held, construction is likely to take eight to 10 months.

Over the last several months, the remnants of the old building were demolished and a capital campaign has been ongoing to replace what was lost.

“The goal for the event is $30,000,” Goode said. “(The capital) campaign has gone quite well. The Albany community has really stepped up.”

Hogg was a teacher at Albany High School who taught Goode as well as Virginia Griffin, executive director at the center.

“She is still alive, but has dementia and used to come here,” Goode said. “They (the family) will pay for the building, whatever it costs.

“We will have enough space (in the new building) to double (our current client base).”

In addition to increased space, the North Jackson Street property will have a garden, which will be fenced in.

“We have already got people who want to memorialize people in the garden,” Goode said. “(Hogg) loved gardening and being outside.”

The overall goal for the capital campaign is $200,000, because the organization is essentially starting from scratch. It is halfway to its goal.

The center currently serves 22, and doubling that would require more staff. As it is, there is already a waiting list.

“We didn’t have the room over there (in the former building), and we don’t have the staff,” Goode said.

A number of tickets for the fundraiser have already been sold, so Goode is confident the agency’s goal will be reached.

“We have always sold it out,” she said.

“We don’t see it not happening this year.”

Even before construction, rooms in the new building have already been dedicated in memory of lost loved ones — but some opportunities to dedicate rooms remain.

And for Goode, as meetings with the architects — Yielding, Wakeford and McGee — take place, reality has begun to set in.

“As you talk about what you want, it gets exciting,” she said.

In the meantime, the center’s activities that include a support group, a movement toward making Albany businesses more dementia friendly and training events geared for those directly impacted by dementia, continue.

The dinner, dancing and live music on Sept. 6 will cost $40 before Friday, and $50 after that and at the door. The floor plan for the new building will be on display at the event.

Advanced notice is highly encouraged, as the center needs to provide a head count for the food. For more information, contact Goode at (229) 432-2705.

Staff Writer

I'm a 2007 graduate of Georgia Southern University, and I've been a reporter for The Albany Herald since 2008. I cover news related to health care, Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, SOWEGA Council on Aging and other areas as assigned.

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