Charity Contest Nominee – Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado Leads Fight to End Disease and Supports Families Affected

Citywide Banks - Community OutreachCitywide Banks’ next Charity Hand-Up Contest will take place on the bank’s Facebook page from September 1-14, 2012. The Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado is one of seven nominated charities that will be spotlighted leading up to the contest. The Denver/Boulder community is invited to participate and help raise awareness for these seven Colorado causes. The charity receiving the most votes on Facebook will receive a $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks. Voters can enter to win 1 of 7 prizes.

Most of us know someone that has been affected by Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive condition thatAlzheimer's - Citywide Banks Charity Contest impacts brain function and memory.  More than 72,000 Coloradoans are diagnosed with the disease. Countless other family members  and caregivers, an average of three people per individual with the disease, are also burdened with the disease’s sobering progression. But there is hope. For more than 25 years, the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado has led the fight against Alzheimer’s disease by increasing the understanding of dementia and its impact on family and community, providing information and support for those affected, and funding the advancement of research.

“As baby boomers reach the age of highest risk, 65 years of age, an estimated 10 million people will develop Alzheimer’s,” explains Linda Mitchell, president and CEO of the organization’s Colorado Chapter. “We are the only organization in Colorado solely dedicated to providing information, training, support, and connection to the more than 227,000 families and caregivers facing the growing crisis.”

In addition to funding research to prevent, treat, and eventually conquer the disease, the Colorado Chapter offers a 24-hour Helpline, education classes, local support groups, care counseling, legal and financial referrals, and other resources for individuals and their families.  All of its services are offered to families at no cost, creating a continuous need for fundraising and community volunteers.

“Volunteers are the backbone of this organization,” continued Mitchell. “Established in 1980 by volunteers, we now have more than 1,000 active volunteers and 40 professional staff serving every county in the state of Colorado.”

One such volunteer is John McClelland.  John has Younger Onset Alzheimer’s, a form of the disease that affects people younger than age 65.  (Nearly 4% of the 5.4 million Americans with the disease have Younger Onset.) McClelland was a former EMT for Teller County near Woodland Park, CO, and due to the disease had to resign this volunteer role that he loved as well as his position as a successful executive for a corporation.  McClelland shares his experience by serving as a volunteer teaching the Association’s “Approaching Alzheimer’s” program for law enforcement and EMS personnel.  This specialized community training program helps first responders better understand the disease and effective processes for communicating and helping people with dementia.  He also serves as a spokesman and public advocate putting a face to the challenges facing those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers to public policy makers.

The Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado organizes several fundraising and awareness events throughout the year.  On Saturday, September 15, 2012, the group will host its Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Denver’s City Park.  The family-friendly event will include a Kid’s Fun Run, a 5K Run, and a Walk that will raise critical money to fund research and provide services for those impacted by the disease. 

A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would help fund the Colorado Chapter’s new Concern & Awareness campaign, ‘Alzheimer’s Can’t Wait.’ The campaign is designed, explains Mitchell, to raise awareness for the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and help our community not only recognize the symptoms but seek an early diagnosis. An early diagnosis is important so individuals can get the help they need before they and their families are facing a crisis.

For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado’s programs, events, and ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.ALZ.org/co.

Vote to Give the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado a $5,000 Hand-Up
As part of its larger community outreach program, Citywide Banks is spotlighting the great work and ongoing needs of local charities around metro Denver. Based on the results of a 14-day public vote on Citywide Banks Charity ContestFacebook, the community will determine how $7,500 is split among seven Colorado charities nominated by Citywide Banks employees. The charity receiving the most votes will receive $5,000 and the runner-up will receive $1,000. The remaining donation amounts will correspond to the voting results for each nominated charity. The voting public can also enter to win 1 of 7 prizes, including dinner for two at some of Denver’s top restaurants. Official prize drawingrulesareavailablebyclickinghere.

How to Cast Your Vote – September 1 -14, 2012
The voting will take place at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to make sure they are logged into their personal Facebook account. If a user doesn’t have an account, it only takes minutes to set up a new Facebook account and it’s free. The online voting form will only be accessible for Citywide Banks Facebook Fans. To become a Fan, simply click on the “Like” button on top of any of the pages on CitywidesFacebookFanPageat Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Then, click on the link for the ”Charity Contest” tab to access the online voting page. Each Facebook account will be permitted one vote during the 14-day voting period.

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