Employees take the plunge to support Alzheimer’s Association
FORT KENT, Maine — Employees at the Forest Hill Rehab and Skilled Nursing Center made a splash for Alzheimer’s Disease awareness on Wednesday when they participated in a ‘Take a Toss at the Boss’ dunk tank fundraiser in the center’s parking lot.
The fundraiser netted $310 in sponsorship money for Team Forest Hill/Northern Maine Medical Center, a group of employees who will participate in the annual Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s event on Sept. 29.
First to man the dunk tank was Forest Hill administrator Travis Guy, whose hopes of remaining dry were thwarted when his wife, Jodi Guy, and son, Caleb Guy arrived.
“He’s a good sport; they’re all good sports, but he’s my target,” Jodi Guy said. “[He’s] getting wet today.”
Fourth-grader Caleb Guy was the first to dunk his father. So determined were both he and his mother that they bypassed the opportunity to throw a ball at the dunk tank lever for $1 and went straight to each paying $5 to manually push the lever.
Jodi Guy said the event was all in good fun but that she also has a more serious reason for supporting the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I lost my grandfather to Alzheimer’s so I’m a huge supporter of the charity,” she said.
Alva Jandreau of St. Francis was 81 years old when he passed away in October 2015.
“He had the biggest heart. He owned his own general store and ran it with my grandmother for more than 40 years,” Jodi Guy said. “We’ve had so many people tell us of how he would issue credit to a family so the kids wouldn’t go hungry. Someone told me of the time he went to buy a pair of shoes as a kid and was short but my grandfather let him buy those shoes for less than they were. Just so many little stories of how he helped people. And his kids; he loved his kids.”
Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive, degenerative brain disease for which there is no cure.
“I’ve heard Alzheimer’s described as the long goodbye. It’s an apt description. And it’s so much more than the memory loss,” Jodi Guy said.
Katie Luce, community events manager for the Alzheimer’s Association Maine Chapter, said that currently, more than 27,000 people in Maine are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, and that number is expected to triple by 2050.
“It’s a brain disease that takes memory and changes the person you’ve always been and that your family has come to know,” Luce said. “The majority of cases affect the elderly population but there is a growing number of cases of early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.”
As of Friday, Team Forest Hill/Northern Maine Medical Center had raised just over $1,100 of their $4,000 goal for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The walk will take place nationwide on Saturday, Sept. 29, including at Riverside Park in Fort Kent. For more information about the walk or the Alzheimer’s Association, call Katie Luce at (207) 772-0115.
To donate money to the Alzheimer’s Association on behalf of Team Forest Hill/Northern Maine Medical Center, visit the team website or bring donations to Forest Hill.