Monticello paints the town purple to support Alzheimer’s Awareness

Kim Brooks
Babbling Brooks Column
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The date of June 21 holds several meanings: Summer Solstice, first day of summer, National Daylight Appreciation Day, and The Longest Day.

     The Longest Day may signify the longest day of the year, but it’s also a day dedicated to those who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. “The day symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.”

     On June 21, businesses and residents all over Monticello literally painted the town purple, the color of Alzheimer’s Awareness.

     The event was organized by Andrea Chapman with Above & Beyond Home Health and Hospice, coordinating with Paige Knebel, with the Alzheimer’s Association.

     Storefronts were decked out in purple. Business owners and employees wore their best purple attire, many supporting the purple Alzheimer’s Association t-shirts. Express Graphic Designer Abby Manternach showed off her artistic skills by free-handing a purple and white Alzheimer’s ribbon chalk mural in front of the Express office for all to see. Several people drove by or walked past to see the creative work of art. This started a trend, and other businesses drew purple murals on the sidewalks as well. All in the name of Alzheimer’s Awareness and supporting a cause that affects so many.

     Within the Express office alone, several of our employees, including myself, have been touched by Alzheimer’s. Both of my paternal grandparents passed away from Alzheimer’s/dementia. It is truly a devastating disease, not just for the loved one suffering from it, but for that person’s family and caregivers. My Grandpa Brooks passed away when I was just a child. Unfortunately, some of the only memories I have of him are when he was battling Alzheimer’s, which wasn’t the happiest. My Grandma Brooks passed away just this April.

     It was AMAZING to see Monticello painted purple on June 21! A lot of the credit goes to the promotion that Andrea, Above & Beyond and the Express organized to bring so many businesses together for the worthy cause. Multiple businesses held special sales throughout the day(s) surrounding the event. The proceeds were then donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. It was all in an effort “to advance the awareness, care, support, and research” of Alzheimer’s.

     Knebel popped into Monticello on June 21 to take a look at all of the purple around town and was amazed to say the least! She stopped by the Express and took a look at Abby’s chalk mural and was just speechless. Knebel was blown away by the support.

     “Our chapter is thrilled to see the passion and enthusiasm in Monticello that is growing momentum around the cause,” said Knebel via a press release. “It’s extremely impressive to see how many businesses are behind the Paint the Town Purple campaign, especially since it’s in its first year.”

     Bravo, Monticello!

     We see the overwhelming support the Monticello businesses show in October around the Express’ annual Pink Out in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. For the past several years, that money has been directly donated to Jones Regional Medical Center, going to the local hospital’s cancer treatment efforts.

     Like Alzheimer’s, cancer touches so many lives as well.

     I want to leave you with some Alzheimer’s facts Knebel shared:

     • Worldwide, there are an estimated 47 million people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and it is the nation’s sixth leading cause of death.

     • More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and this national number is estimated to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050.

     • Additionally, there are more than 15 million Alzheimer’s caregivers, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.



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