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Annual A Light to Remember set

By Staff | Jan 20, 2009

The Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center has teamed up with Fox Electronics to host the 11th Annual A Light To Remember on Thursday evening in downtown Fort Myers. The event is designed to raise awareness for the debilitating disease, as well as other memory-related impairments.
According to the National Institute on Aging, there are approximately 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s in the United States and close to 22,000 in Lee County. The institute estimates that 14 million people will be afflicted by 2050.
The disease is a progressively worsening condition that destroys brain cells causing severe memory loss and a drastic change in behavior. Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or other related dementias, but there are treatments to help with some of the symptoms.
Dotty St. Amand, executive director of Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, said A Light to Remember will educate people on the disease and raise funding for local programs.
“It is a tribute event to raise awareness and to acknowledge the hard work that caregivers do to people with Alzheimer’s disease,” said St. Amand.
Participants in the event can purchase luminaries for $5 in honor of caregivers or those with Alzheimer’s disease. Proceeds from the luminaries will be used for local programs such as support groups, educational resources, individual assistance to families and a safety program that provides identification bracelets to people with the disease.
“People can actually make a donation and have a luminary in honor of anyone they want, sometimes it is a caregiver and sometimes for people who have died from the illness,” said St. Amand.
Family members and friends also can send a color photograph, poem or other special item tied to the memory of a loved one with the disease that will be included in a collage during the luminary display. Names will be read aloud during the lighting of the luminaries.
A Light to Remember will include live entertainment, and the center estimates that each year the event features 1,200 luminaries.
The center also hosts other events throughout the year including Brushstrokes From The Soul, an Alzheimer’s related art show, and the Sweet Memories Chocolate Gala.
Luminaries for Thursday’s event can be purchased in advance by calling the center at 437-3007. For more information on the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, visit: www.alzheimersswfl.org.