Friday, September 21, 2018
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Special event planned for Alzheimer’s awareness

“Alzheimer’s has been compared by caregiver Jennie Rodriguez to being buried alive in a box with a window. “Its frightening for all involved,” Rodriguez said.

She is passionate about building awareness for not only the afflicted and their families, but also caregivers. A Dawson County event is promoting such awareness and raising money for research and education surrounding this disease.

The Longest Day event is being held on Wednesday, June 21, in downtown Gothenburg from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The Alzheimer’s Association is using the day to promote the fight against Alzheimer’s with the message, “The Longest Day is all about love. Love for all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease,” according to the their website.

Locally, Hilltop Estates and Stone Hearth Estates in Gothenburg, Golden Living Center in Cozad, and Brookdale in Lexington are facilities who will be setting up displays such as living rooms with rocking chairs and a beach landscape on 10th Street between Lake Avenue and F Street. Rodriguez said that the theme for Stone Hearth Estates will be “Rocking to End Alzheimers” while the other facilities will have different themes. However, the purpose remains the same—to bring awareness of those afflicted as well as of the caregivers.

Other organizations and businesses are getting in on the action. Gothenburg Health and the Sun Theatre will be sponsoring the movie Goonies (1985) at 5:00 p.m. for a free will donation. The Fire Department will be hosting car cutting and helicopter demonstrations (pending no emergencies). Boy Scouts will be serving hot dogs and Girl Scouts will be giving away balloons. FFA members will host a petting zoo and dog show. The Gothenburg Dance Centre will have performances at 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

In addition, Razor Creations from 4-7 p.m. and Shear Elegance from 4-6 p.m. will be offering dry haircuts for a free will donation. The Senior Center will be hosting a bridge tournament at the Senior Center, as well as a baked goods sale. Lakeside Bowl and other downtown businesses will be providing games and activities throughout the day.

Rodrigez said that a candlelight vigil and speaker will begin at 9:30 p.m. and complete the day’s events. “My passion comes from the last six years of caring for victims of this disease. They need someone to speak for them and to remember who they were,” she said.

The Longest Day is a new event promoting awareness instead of the former Alzheimer’s Walk. Individuals from Dawson County interested in donating or starting a team can visit