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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 12, 2009

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Calls on Quilters to Mark National Quilting Day by Contributing to Powerful Arts Project

NEW YORK, NY— In honor of National Quilting Day on March 21, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is calling on quilters nationwide to craft heartfelt panels for the AFA Quilt to Remember, the first grand-scale quilt that pays tribute to individuals who have or had Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, their caregivers and healthcare professionals.

While the powerful project welcomes quilters and non-quilters alike, “it especially offers quilters the opportunity to tap their talents to highlight our cause,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO.

“Each panel brings to life the story of an individual who has been touched by this heartbreaking disease. Stitch by stitch, quilter by quilter, we can continue to share the legacies of these individuals and carry forward a message of hope from their families and caregivers,” he added.

This call to action echoes the “Quilt to Remember Challenge,” in which AFA has asked individuals and organizations across America to help grow the collection six-fold to coincide with the climb of Alzheimer’s disease to the sixth spot as the leading cause of death in the nation. AFA’s goal is to have 600 panels in the collection by November 2009—National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

Many quilters are amongst those who have already contributed to the AFA Quilt to Remember, which currently has 125 quilt squares in its collection. Panels donated by individuals measure four feet square and those crafted by organizations are eight feet square. The project was announced in late 2005, and AFA is accepting quilts on an ongoing basis and will continue to take the quilt on tour across the country.

Carol Rychlik, a quilter who lives in Annandale, VA, designed her red, white and blue panel in tribute to her four aunts affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

“In my opinion, it is the best quilt I have ever made. Everyone who has looked at it says it probably is because I made it with love,” she said. “I hope that this panel will help others who are living with Alzheimer’s or who might have a loved one living with Alzheimer’s find some comfort.”

Alzheimer’s disease results in loss of memory and other cognitive functions, and its incidence is expected to triple to 16 million Americans by mid-century. An estimated one to four caregivers care for each person with the disease.

For more information and to download an application, visit www.alzquilt.org. Those who submit a panel application by National Quilting Day will receive a one-of-a-kind AFA Quilt to Remember magnet.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a nonprofit organization based in New York that focuses on providing optimal care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and their families, and unites 950 member organizations nationwide that provide hands-on programs. AFA’s services include a toll-free hot line with counseling by licensed social workers, a free caregiver magazine, a National Memory Screening Day initiative, and the AFA Quilt to Remember. For information, call 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484