Dunking for Dollars in Van Buren benefits Alzheimer’s Tennessee

by | July 19, 2018 1:49 pm

By Hansel Moore

July 14 was hot, so finding volunteers for the dunk tank was pretty easy at the Van Buren Mountain Homecoming. Some did it for the opportunity to cool off, but there were others who were aware of the purpose of the water-filled tank. It was the creative idea of Jeweleen England to help raise money for a cause close to her heart, Alzheimer’s research.

Generations of Spencer was the sponsor of the dunk tank and assisted England with connecting to the community during the homecoming. She used her ability of persuasion to recruit a number of volunteers to bravely sit in anticipation of accurate strong-armed throwers. Sheriff Eddie Carter and City of Spencer Mayor Mickey Robinson were great sports as their “supporters” took their chances.

There would have been a dunking dilemma without the assistance of Spencer Fire Department members who brought their aqua abilities to rapidly fill the tank. A number of individuals and groups came together to make the day a success. At the end of the day, over $500 was presented to Alzheimer’s Tennessee to aid in education, support, and research.

England has been the local ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Tennessee organization since she traveled the progressive journey of the process with her aging mother. Statistically, everyone in the United States will be directly related to someone who is diagnosed with the disease.

An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s. This number includes an estimated 5.5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s. One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer’s dementia. [ALZ.org]

Caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. It is difficult to maintain the person’s dignity, as the need for personal assistance increases. For many caregivers, the mental status of the parent that who them digresses to the point when there is no recollection of any relationship.

While billions have been spent on finding a cure for this debilitating diagnosis, there have been no breakthroughs. The impact for the country will be substantial, as the “baby boomers” generation continues to grow older. There are some medications that have had effects on slowing the process for certain patients, but they are not cures.

No one should feel as if they are struggling alone, especially on in Van Buren County. England has been the host of an Alzheimer’s support group that meets at Generations of Spencer, at 6 p.m., on the fourth Thursday, of each month. If you, or someone you know would like to join the group, contact England at (931) 254-0136.

For more information about Alzheimer’s, visit www.alztennessee.org

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