When Nancy Westcott’s brother-in-law Ernie was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s in 2008, she and her husband Bart were already connected with the Alzheimer’s Association as donors. “When we started learning more about the disease through the Alzheimer’s Association, we realized the emotional and financial toll the disease has on so many families,” says Nancy. “We knew we had to get involved to help ease that burden.” Today, she and Bart are doing just that.
As co-chairs for The Longest Day committee for the Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Nancy and Bart love that The Longest Day allows them the ability to create their own fundraising experience by choosing their own activity, especially during these times of social distancing. And as a board member at the chapter, Nancy has learned what a unique position The Longest Day holds in the Association's fundraising efforts. “The Longest Day allows total flexibility and creativity to reign. Whatever you like to do can be a fundraiser. Bart and I really liked the concept from the get-go, which is just one of the reasons we have participated for the past three years.”
This year, the couple decided to host two events for The Longest Day, but are doing them virtually. Rather than hosting in-person events at their home, the Westcotts have invited friends and family to join them from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Nancy and Bart’s first event converted their traditional in-person game night to a virtual Monopoly Challenge, which they hosted back in April, raising more than $2,200.
Participants played Monopoly in their respective homes across the country, and the Monopoly champion in each home sent their game-winning cash count to Nancy and Bart, who declared the Grand Champion winner, who was Jake Wiatrowski from Minneapolis. Jake’s 8-year-old son Axel played Monopoly for the first time and came close, too! Jake received purple swag that celebrates the power of The Longest Day.
Their second event comes just in time for the summer solstice. “Our ‘Solstice Happy Hour’ is being hosted on Zoom. A San Francisco area bar owner will teach us about the history of tequila and mezcal and how to prepare two signature summer cocktails. Of course one of them is a summer favorite: the margarita,” Nancy continues. “These events play off our love of games and social gatherings. With all of us struggling to safely keep connected, they are fun outlets for an important cause.”
The Westcotts are just one of the families getting creative during a time when those impacted by Alzheimer’s disease need all of our support. “If we thought that people living with Alzheimer’s and all other dementia were isolated, anxious and facing challenges before, the COVID-19 crisis has made it far worse. Now, more than ever, the programs, services, research and advocacy of the Alzheimer’s Association are vitally important. And we are always ready for a challenge.”
About: With their Monopoly Challenge raising more than $2,200, Bart and Nancy have the same goal for their Solstice Happy Hour. Visit their fundraising page here.
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