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Champions Honored at Thanks for the Memories Luncheon

Friday, May 18, 2007

CHARLESTON - Each year the Alzheimer's Association honors outstanding West Virginians who have furthered the battle against Alzheimer's disease with the Rockefeller Award, named in honor of the first honoree, Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV. All the award winners are "Champions" of the cause, but this year, the Association will also be unveiling a photo campaign specifically called the Champions Campaign. With more than five million Americans and 46,000 West Virginians with the disease, now is the time for people to OPEN their checkbooks, raise their VOICE to advocate and MOVE the cause forward.

Nationally, dozens of celebrities are lending their time, talents and faces to educate the public on the facts of Alzheimer's disease and challenge more than five million people - one for every person currently living with the disease - to get involved. A photo collection of more than 30 famous faces wearing purple T-shirts featuring motivational words from the Alzheimer's Association's new consumer campaign was unveiled on April 16 in New York. Ricki Lake, Lea Thompson, Peter Gallagher, Victor Garber, David Hyde Pierce, Kate Burton, Tracie Thoms, Dick Van Dyke and other celebrities are the faces of a new campaign that aims to dispel the misperception that Alzheimer's disease is just about old people losing their memory. Click here to see the campaign photos and get more information about the Champions Campaign.

Here in West Virginia, the Association will unveil the first photos of the West Virginia Champions Campaign at the Thanks for the Memories Luncheon on May 18, Governor Joe Manchin, musician Bob Thompson, singer Kathy Mattea and other West Virginians will be wearing the purple T-shirts with the words "Open," "Voice" and "Move" as part of this awareness building campaign. Click here to see photos from the West Virginia Chapter's Champions Campaign.

This year's award winners are West Virginia Delegate Don Perdue, Tom and Carolyn Miller of Huntington.

West Virginia Delegate Don Perdue, of Wayne County has been a long-standing advocate for West Virginians with Alzheimer's disease and their families, as well as other health care issues since first being elected to the House of Delegates. He sponsored legislation requiring dementia training for nursing home staff. In addition, over the years Delegate Perdue has advocated for increased funding in Medicaid and Bureau of Senior Service budgets for Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers. Including initiatives to fund respite programs in all fifty five counties in West Virginia.

Tom and Carolyn Miller a husband and wife duo from Huntington, West Virginia, will also be honored for their longstanding support of the Alzheimer's Association and its mission. Both have been instrumental in the effort to help achieve "a world without Alzheimer's" through their involvement with the Huntington Memory Walk and time spent on the Board of Directors for the Association.

Delegate Perdue and the Millers are truly champions and will be honored as such on May 18.

CONTACT: Laurel Kirksey 1.304.343.2717 or

Click Here to see photos of the Thanks for the Memories Luncheon!


Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.