FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | August 26, 2009
Urban Professionals Support Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
‘For the Love of George’ Events Taking Off in Major Cities across the Country
NEW YORK, NY — A growingcontingency of influential professionals across the country—many of whom have experienced Alzheimer’s disease in their families—is lending a hand to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) to support the care needs of families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
These urban professionals are joining together to form committees to help the organization’s “For the Love of George” cocktail party take off in major cities nationwide.
For the Love of George began when Alex and Chris Barnet initiated AFA’s first Junior Committee of young professionals in 2004 to honor their grandfather, George R. Irvin, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2002. Irvin passed away last year.
Since, the event has garnered the support of influential professionals in other parts of the country to honor the millions of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. While each local event takes on a slightly different spin, they all have the same intent: to heighten awareness of the disease and raise funds to support AFA’s programs and services nationwide.
This year, For the Love of George will be held in Chicago on October 2, Nashville on October 9 and New York on October 15, with additional dates to be announced for Boston and Toronto. To purchase tickets, visit www.ticketweb.com.
In Nashville, country recording artist Emily West will help kick off the first For the Love of George, to be held at the Country Music Hall of Fame. West’s commitment to the cause stems from her personal experience with her grandmother who had dementia.
“I wish I knew back then more about the disease to be more patient and loving to her. It was hard to watch her face transform into an overly exhausted expression from all the anger and confusion going on,” West said.
Other country artists who will perform for the cause in Nashville include Kate Armiger, Kathy Mattea, Lani Nash and Mindy Smith.
Jeff Pereira, president of Home Care Assistance of Middle Tennessee, also got involved with the Nashville committee because Alzheimer’s disease has impacted his family.
“This cruel disease has taken my grandmother from me and now has its dirty little paws on my aunt,” he said. “We need to educate, we need to fight, we need to be patient, and most of all we need to love because family deserves nothing less.”
In New York, the 5 th annual For the Love of George will include live entertainment featuring Booga Sugar, an 80’s revival meets pop inspired dance groove band, at Arena in Manhattan.
And in Chicago, the 3 rd annual event will be held at the Kendall College Culinary Institute Restaurant and will for the first time feature chef tasting stations and wine pairings.
“My brother Alex and I are very excited about the buzz surrounding For the Love of George in New York and in other cities,” Chris Barnet said. “As this event expands in size, we are able to spread the word and help raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease even more. We’re going to keep building on this momentum for years to come.”
Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO, noted that the committee members have “tremendous commitment and passion.”
“There’s an unbelievable domino effect going on here as people in other cities get wind of For the Love of George and want to be a part of it,” Hall said. “We rely on these volunteers to bring Alzheimer’s disease to the public’s attention, and their selfless efforts are truly making a difference.”
It is estimated that as many as 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, which causes loss of memory and other intellectual functions. With age the greatest known risk factor, the incidence of the disease doubles every five years between 65 and 95. It is the seventh leading cause of the death in the United States.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and made up of 1,200 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses. AFA’s services include a toll-free hot line, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call (toll-free) 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.
Contact: Carol Steinberg