• Abigail Hall

Wichita businesses to raise money for The Longest Day, Alzheimer’s research

Originally published by Wichita Eagle June 21, 2019.

Wichitans will have a chance to participate in Alzheimer’s awareness fundraisers at 10 Wichita-area businesses on June 20 and 21.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and the Wichita-based Alzheimer’s Association of Western and Central Kansas has partnered with local businesses to raise money for a cause that affects more than 5 million Americans and 54,000 Kansans, said Sarah McNay, Alzheimer’s Association constituent event manager.

The Longest Day is the association’s culmination of the awareness month, which occurs on the summer solstice, the day of the year with the most light. This year, the summer solstice falls on June 21, and many local businesses will host individual fundraisers on or near this day, to donate to the local association.

“The Longest Day is a visual representation for persons who are caregivers to have hope that a cure is coming down the pipe,” McNay said. “Currently there’s no cure — so we have hope that a cure is coming.”

In an email, McNay said one out of every four people are caregivers to individuals with Alzheimers, which is the most common form of dementia and causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. The estimated total value of unpaid care in Kansas is over $2.1 billion, she said.

“Most (caregivers) are unpaid, meaning they are friends or family of persons affected, who care for their loved ones while maintaining their own jobs, families, and other aspects of life,” McNay said in the email.

The Alzheimer’s Association invites local communities to participate in the Longest Day by hosting activities and events of their choosing, McNay said. Events in the Wichita area range from restaurant and brewery donation sales, yoga, a movie night and more.

Anna Voth is a volunteer from Newton, Kansas, and will host a free movie night as part of the Longest Day.

Voth is also a caregiver for her father, who was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, a form of the disease that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, in 2016. Since her father’s diagnosis, Voth said she has received “invaluable” help from the Alzheimer’s Association, from emotional support to aid in applying for grants and medicare.

“People think this is a disease they don’t have to worry about until they’re 90 — I was one of them, I didn’t think at 32 I would have to think about my very young 65-year-old father,” Voth said. “Alzheimer’s is not just for the elderly, and it can be brought on in different ways... I want people to know that this is something we all have to deal with as a society — and I only know that because it happened to me.”

Voth said she wanted to get involved to raise awareness of the disease, and to let her neighbors in Newton know what resources are available to them.

“All of the money we raise at my event and in Wichita stays here in the central Kansas branch, and that’s going to do a lot for educating the community on what to expect next,” Voth said. “It’s Kansas supporting all around Kansas, and I just really want people to know they can help their neighbors.”

The Longest Day events in Wichita are as follows:

The Monarch giveback: All of June, The Monarch will sell its Limoncello Martini, with 20 percent of the drink’s sales donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. The Monarch is located at 579 W. Douglas Ave.

River City Brewing Company giveback: All of June the brewery will sell pints of its Blueberry Wheat Beer for $5. Half of the sales of the beer will be donated to the association. The brewery is located at 150 N. Mosley St.

Dine and Donate: BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will host two donation events for the month of June. From June 1 to 30, any customer who donates $1 or more will receive a coupon for a free pizookie at their next trip to the restaurant, valid until July 31. Additionally, BJ’s will match all donations made on June 20 and 21 up to $25,000 to the association. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is located at 7960 E. Kellogg Dr. North.

Sundowner’s Free Family Movie: At this event there will be a free screening of “Coco,” a silent auction with local items, and a wine fridge with eight bottles of wine, and a coin donation for children to enter to win a prize. Concessions will be available for purchase, and all proceeds will be donated to the association. The event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. June 21 at Meridian Center, 1420 E. Broadway Ct., Newton.

Bitchy Bingo: XY Bar will host a bingo night with prizes and drinks, with 100 percent of the sales donated to the association. Bingo begins at 7 p.m. and will last until 10 p.m. June 21 at XY Bar, 235 N. Mosely St. The cost for 20 bingo cards, playing a total of 10 games, is $20. The cost for extra blackout cards is $5, and $2 for daubers. Participants are invited to bring their own dauber if they wish.

Yoga Mala: Hot Asana Yoga studio will host a yoga mala, a practice of 108 sun salutations, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 21 at Hot Asana Yoga Studio, 7348 W. 21st St. North, suite 112. The participate in the activity the studio recommends a $20 donation either in cash or online. All donations will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Stepping up to Alzheimers: All day on June 21 Waldron Place and The Arbors, assisted living facilities in Hutchinson, will host a bake sale for the Longest Day donations. The bake sale is located at 1700 E. 23rd Ave., Hutchinson.

Book fair: Wichita’s Barnes and Nobles will host a book fair in-store and online June 22 and 23. To participate in the fundraiser, individuals must mention to the register that they are participating, or use the event ID: 12515326 online at www.bn.com/bookfair. Barnes and Nobles members may use their members discount on the sale. Not included in the sale: purchase of gift cards, shipping and handling fees, and purchase of text books or e-books. 10 percent of all sales in which the fundraiser is mentioned, or use of the event ID online, will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Barnes and Nobles is located at 1920 N. Rock Road.

2019 June Olympics and Music: Chicken-N-Pickle will host an all day event on June 23 with games, lunch and live music. From 9 a.m. to noon individuals will have a chance to donate to enter Olympic games such as Pickle Ball, Corn Hole and Washer Toss. The event has three donation options. Donate $110 to enter a two-person team to participate in the games, including two raffle tickets. Donate $120 as a host couple and watch the games as spectators, including four raffle tickets. Donate $20 as a spectator, including one raffle ticket. The team with the highest points will win a prize to be determined. From noon to 1 p.m. lunch will be provided and raffle prizes will be administered. From 1 to 6 p.m. there will be live performances by Nelson Franklin, Jose Martinez, Dangie, and The Dirt Road Misfits. All funds collected for donation will go to the Alzheimer’s Association. Chicken-N-Pickle is located at 1240 N. Greenwich Rd.

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