On February 19th, 75 guests gathered at the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham for the 3rd annual Rotary Alzheimer’s Caregivers’ Appreciation Luncheon. The event is jointly sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Durham. Attendees were treated to lunch, an acapella serenade by the Pitchforks of Duke University, a takeaway gift box of truffles and a great raffle of twenty prizes. Raffle prizes were generously donated by local merchants and included gift certificates from local restaurants, bottles of wine, massage and pedicure treatments and movie night packages among many others. The event was great fun and guests were very appreciative of the opportunity to attend.
The planning committee was comprised of Rotarians Nancy Gordon, Meg Solera, Emily Page all of Downtown Club, Della Michaux of the Sunrise Rotary and Assistant Governor Joyce McKinney of the Southwest Club. Committee members organized over the past 4 months to ensure the event’s success. Emily Page served as emcee, the invocation was given by Nancy Gordon and Meg Solera, once again, served as raffle announcer- extraordinaire, generating great excitement for each prize. Past District Governor Newman Aguiar shared a video and remarks about Rotary’s commitment to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Bobbi Matchar of Duke Family Support Services also offered remarks. Several Rotarians volunteered to serve as table hosts and to lend a helping hand as needed.
Alzheimer’s is a chronic, progressive, neurodegenerative disease that slowly erodes memory and thinking skills and eventually even the ability to carry out simple tasks. Alzheimer’s disease impacts about 5 million people nationally. In North Carolina, over 170,000 people are affected by Alzheimer’s and these numbers are expected to increase to 210,000 by the year 2025. Caregivers are tasked with tremendous responsibilities and the demands on them increase with time.
Rotary continuously supports Alzheimer’s research through CART bucket collections. The caregivers’ luncheon is a direct, personal experience offered to members of the Durham community whose lives are impacted by the disease. The luncheon is made possible through a joint area grant from the Rotary Foundation.
Deepest thanks are extended to the Levin JCC and its wonderful staff for graciously sharing their facility, to the Pitchforks of Duke University for our fabulous entertainment, to Carolyn Aaronson for our centerpiece arrangements and to the Leaders of Tomorrow of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter of the National Black MBA Association for assembling our take-away gifts.
Finally, a very special thank you goes to all of our raffle sponsors for their generous donations that helped to make this Rotary event a success:
California Pizza Kitchen – Southpoint Mall
City Barbeque of Durham – Highway 54 and Fayetteville Road
Dulce Café & Gelato – Sutton Station
Nana’s – University Drive
Nantucket Grill – Sutton Station
Pulcinella’s Italian – Woodcroft Shopping Center
Washington Duke Inn – Cameron Boulevard
Watt’s Grocery – Broad Street
Spas & Massage Services
Bella Trio Spa & Salon – Sutton Station
Luxury Nail Salon – Fayetteville Road & Highway 54
Mary McFarland Massage – Guess Road
Big Bundts Bakery – Broad Street
Carolina Theatre of Durham – W. Morgan Street
Durham Co-op Market – W. Chapel Hill Street