Help end Alzheimer’s—and you don’t even have to run a 5K
On any given weekend, you can find at least one “run for (insert cause here)” event in most major cities across the country. From “fun runs” to full-out marathons, sweating for charity has never been hotter. The problem? Not everyone can run. And in a country known for its rampant laziness, plenty more simply don’t want to.
For those of us who forged doctor’s notes to get out of P.E. but still want to feel like contributing members of society, there’s The Longest Day. This day-long fundraiser, hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association, takes place every year on June 21. The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, provides participants with about 16 daylight hours for fundraising.
“The point of the event lasting all day is to symbolize how caregivers and those that have Alzheimer’s work all day long. Caregivers may have a job that they go to during the day, but when they get home the work is not done. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s with never get a break,” said Madison Vincent, chapter communications manager with the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Longest Day is like other popular charitable events in that it is team-based and involves hitting up your long-lost relatives for that graduation cash that never materialized all those years ago, but the similarities end there. Instead of participating in a pre-planned activity with a hoard of other altruistic-minded citizens, teams may choose to do whatever they want, as long as they do it all day. This lets people cater the event to their unique passions and lifestyles.
This week will mark the fundraiser’s third year in Chattanooga. Past teams have chosen to do everything from walking to caving. Groups often choose to do something that a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s enjoyed. Whether your loved one enjoyed fishing or reading, no activity is off limits. If you can do it for 16 hours, it’s fair game.
It isn’t just families and ragtag teams that participate in The Longest Day. Several businesses and organizations have jumped on board as well. This year, the Chattanooga Bridge Club will be playing bridge all day, the Tennessee Aquarium will turn their outdoor lights purple (the color of the Alzheimer’s awareness ribbon) and Daylight Donuts will be selling purple donuts for donations.
Since the summer solstice falls on a Sunday this year, Vincent said the Alzheimer’s Association is asking churches to participate in simple ways, like encouraging their congregations to wear purple.
The Alzheimer’s Association has also partnered with local Walgreens stores to sell donation pin-ups at the register through June 28 in recognition of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.
The association offers services support for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers free of charge all year long.
Teams can register for The Longest Day from now until the morning of June 21 at alz.org/thelongestday.
If you have questions about The Longest Day or any of their other services, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at (423) 265-3600.