Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 12, 2008

New Alzheimer’s Social Awareness Postage Stamp to be Unveiled
Stamp recognizes importance of knowing more about Alzheimer’s Disease

SAN FRANCISCO Alzheimer’s awareness will be the focus of attention on Sept. 18, 2008 when the U.S. Postal Service and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America will unveil a commemorative postage stamp at a ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., San Francisco.  The 42-cent Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp will be available at Post Offices nationwide beginning October 17, 2008.

James Larkin, U.S. Postal Service Senior Plant Manager in San Francisco and special guest Patricia Garamendi, assistant general manager, California Exposition and State Fair and wife of Lt. Gov. John Garamendi will unveil the stamp during the luncheon keynote presentation, to recognize the importance of knowing more about Alzheimer’s in an effort to help raise awareness.  

“We believe this stamp will go a long way in helping spread the word about how important it is for everyone to know about this devastating disease,” said Larkin. “The Postal Service is proud to continue its tradition as a community leader in highlighting health and social issues.”

The stamp unveiling is taking place as part of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s (AFA) National Concepts in Care Conference. The conference, at which Garamendi will be delivering the keynote presentation, is open to the public and there is no registration fee. (Those interested in attending can register by calling 866-232-8484.)

Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO, applauded the Postal Service’s recognition of the need for awareness, noting: “The new stamp will help reduce the stigma that surrounds Alzheimer’s disease. The more we open up a dialogue about this disease, the more people will seek the treatment and care that can improve quality of life.”

With the issuance of the Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp, the Postal Service continues its long-standing tradition of raising awareness of social issues. Stamps such as Breast Cancer Research, Adoption and Children’s Health have helped stimulate conversation about these serious topics in communities from coast to coast. These activities go hand in hand with the Postal Service’s historic role as a community leader.

Experts estimate that more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. The disease initially affects the parts of the brain that control language, thought and memory, and progressively causes difficulty in carrying out daily activities.  It is the most common form of dementia among older people, and it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Art director Ethel Kessler worked with illustrator Matt Mahurin to draw attention to the importance of the caregiver for those who have Alzheimer’s disease. Three words — care, support, research — appear in the selvage in the upper right corner of the stamp sheet.

For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, contact the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center (www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers), the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org) or the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org).

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An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation –
146 million homes and businesses. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars to pay for operating expenses. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.

Media Contact:
James T. Wigdel
415-550-5718
415-205-4708
jwigdel@usps.gov
usps.com/news
Release: SF08-088