FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 24, 2010
Former NFL Football Player to Host Phoenix Golf Outing for Alzheimer’s Disease
NEW YORK, NY — Retired NFL football player Steve Myer and his wife, Maria, of Chandler, AZ are determined to help caregivers—people like themselves who are tirelessly caring for relatives with Alzheimer’s disease. On October 8, the couple will host a golf outing at the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler to benefit the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America .
“A lot of people have heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but they’re not aware of what it’s all about. They don’t understand the cause and effect,” said Myer, who played for the Seattle Seahawks from 1976 to 1980. “Our main emphasis is helping families who end up being caretakers because we know the responsibility of it.”
At various points during the past 20 years, the Myers have been caregivers to three of their parents, all diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The couple helped care for Maria’s father, who passed away in 1991. Steve’s mother currently resides in a nursing home in Texas. And the Myers are the primary caregivers for Maria’s mother, who moved in with them after she was diagnosed with the brain disorder in 2005.
In Arizona, an estimated 970,000 people have Alzheimer’s disease—a number that is projected to explode, increasing 67 percent by 2025. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the brain disorder, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
The Myers approached AFA about hosting an outing after witnessing the success of golf events some of their close friends held for other causes.
With the “Care on the Fairways” event for AFA, the couple hopes to educate the public about Alzheimer’s disease, raise funds for support services for families, and rally the community around the cause. Myer, now a financial planner, expects other former NFL players to be among the attendees. Preston Dennard, who played for the Los Angeles Rams and other NFL teams, is the event’s master of ceremony.
Myer said he wants people to walk away with a very important message about Alzheimer’s disease: “It’s very real, and it can have an effect on your own family just like any other disease.”
Caring for her 77–year-old mother, Maria, a realtor, has been particularly struck by the behavioral challenges that the disease presents.
“Programs need to be put in place so families are equipped to deal with this,” she said. “I hope with this fundraising event that there will be more programs available to help people…and ensure a greater quality of life.”
Proceeds from “Care on the Fairways” will support AFA’s services nationwide that meet the practical, educational and financial needs of families, including funding grants to community organizations across the country to enhance their programs. AFA has held similar golf outings in Nashville, New York and Palm Beach, FL.
The upcoming event includes 18 holes of golf, breakfast, an awards luncheon and a silent auction. Individual golfers and foursomes are welcome, at $200 per player.To purchase tickets, call 866-232-8484.
Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO, said AFA is grateful to the Myers for “their desire to make a difference. When individuals step up to support our cause, there’s a powerful domino effect. The Myers’ passion will result in better care for countless families and serves as a model for other volunteers.”
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and made up of 1,400 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional and practical needs of families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses. AFA’s services include a toll-free helpline, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call (Toll-Free Helpline) 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org .
Contact: Carol Steinberg