Go Purple on the Longest Day

Alzheimer’s Association Seeks to Raise Awareness.

The longest day of the year, also known as the summer solstice, is the day with the most light. Not coincidentally, it is on that day each year that the Alzheimer’s Association strives to bring the most light to its efforts to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease.

That day falls on June 20, a Saturday, this year, and while the impact of the coronavirus may force a few changes in plans, the Alzheimer’s Association still hopes to have thousands of people celebrate its efforts as part of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

The Association’s goal is to devote the entire day to the cause by creating a day-long sunrise-to-sunset event that signifies the challenging journey that those with Alzheimer’s, their family members and caregivers face each and every day.

As part of the program, the Association is asking people who know someone with Alzheimer’s disease to wear purple to honor that person, and already, a long list of celebrities have signed on as Alzheimer’s Association Champions to help get the word out.

The list of personalities includes current and former professional athletes such as Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens, actors such as Samuel L. Jackson and Olympia Dukakis and television hosts such as Leeza Gibbons and Vivica Fox.

Their goal is to use their faces and voices to challenge 5 million Americans – one for every American living with Alzheimer’s disease – to learn more about the disease and become Alzheimer’s Association Champions themselves.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and eventually robs people of the ability to perform the simplest of daily tasks such as bathing, dressing and eating.

Currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease will afflict one out of every 10 people 65 and older this year, and it is the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

To alter that situation, critical research is needed. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging people to participate in or hold fundraising efforts of their own and is even providing tips and tools on how to hold such a fundraiser.

The Association suggests building a fundraiser through sporting events, community gatherings and hobbies such as painting, dancing and arts and crafts. Almost anything thing can be turned into a fundraiser to bring awareness to the cause.

And for those who are unable to participate or hold a fundraiser, awareness can be brought by simply wearing purple on the 20th of June or by purchasing and wearing some of the purple gear that is available through the Alzheimer’s Association’s website.

It is through the Association’s Go Purple venture that many of the celebrities involved in the fight are making their voices heard by telling stories of friends or loved ones in their lives who have or are struggling with the disease.

The Association is encouraging others to do the same by sharing their stories through social media and through the Association’s website and using the hashtags #ENDALZ and #The Longest Day in their posts.

To learn more about The Longest Day, events associated with Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month or information on how to participate in a current fundraising event or start one of your own, you can call 800-272-3900.


Roy Cummings

About Roy Cummings

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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