(Dec. 2012 – Knoxville) A purple Santa Clause – plus the UT Lady Vols Basketball Team – helped deliver donated items before Christmas to those who may suffer from memory loss and not have a lot of family support as part of the first “Big Red Bow” Project.
B97.5’s Jeff Jarnigan dressed up in a purple Santa suit and along with Alzheimer’s Tennessee volunteers delivered donated gifts to more than 100 individuals living in at least 30 healthcare communities in Knox, Blount, Anderson and Loudon counties.
The UT Lady Volunteers basketball team took part in the deliveries at Shannondale of Knoxville. The Team entertained residents and staff there by sharing donated gifts, visiting, and singing Christmas carols.
Lexus of Knoxville collected suggested donations from an Alzheimer’s Tennessee “Wish List” for individuals touched by Alzheimer’s and dementia. From November through mid-December, the community responded in a big way. New, donated gifts like CDs/DVDs featuring older music/movies, blankets, scarves, books, craft items and more were dropped off at the dealership and put under the purple “Memory Tree”.
“The Big Red Bow Project is a continuing effort by Lexus of Knoxville to serve the community,” General Sales Manager Gary Hughes said. “One of our main focuses is to give back. Dementia and Alzheimer’s have touched our lives through family and friends, and we hope others will join us by participating in this venture, supporting the cause, and fighting this disease with Alzheimer’s Tennessee.”
“My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s, and one of the memories I have is visiting her and seeing how many others there were rarely, if ever visited,” B97.5 Program Director Jeff Jarnigan, an Alzheimer’s Tennessee Champion for the Cause, shared his inspiration for being involved in the Big Red Bow Project. “It struck me how these folks not only had to deal with their disease, but also with being alone.”
“It warmed all of our hearts in the most meaningful way to give the gift of joy to some of our most fragile loved ones,” Alzheimer’s Tennessee Executive Dir. Janice Wade-Whitehead said. “Nobody should have to face Alzheimer’s or dementia alone, especially during the holidays.”
The community also had the opportunity to contribute to Alzheimer’s Tennessee’s award-winning senior adult day service program and its participants. The program, called Howard Circle of Friends– now celebrating its fifth anniversary – gives family caregivers the opportunity to take a break or go to work while their loved ones enjoy fun, therapeutic activities in a safe environment.
Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. would like to thank Lexus of Knoxville and B97.5. With their continued support, Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. ensures 100% of the donations stay in Tennessee to support programs and services that enhance the quality of life for families living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The local 501c3 organization founded in 1983 also invests in the most promising research. For more information visit www.alzTennesssee.org or call 865.544.6288.
Note: Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. opted to disaffiliate from the Alzheimer’s Association to ensure all funds raised benefit Tennesseans.