On Saturday, May 2, The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Memory Ball was held at the Walkersville Event Center. Eleven couples competed in a Dancing with the Stars format to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. The semi-formal evening included cocktails, dinner, music and the dance competition where dancers performed for votes, which equaled donations.
“All proceeds from the Memory Ball will fund supportive services of the Alzheimer’s Association and critical research for a cure,” said Ijamsville resident, Al Clapp, whose wife, Marie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008. Clapp and his dance partner, Lindsay Goodrich, won the Mirror Ball trophy for the highest total of funds raised by a team. They collected more than $17,000 in donations.
Marie Clapp’s condition continues to deteriorate, and she lives at the Country Meadows Assisted Living Facility in Frederick. Since her diagnosis, Al Clapp has become very active to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Association and participates in fundraising activities like the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s each fall. He has raised more than $27,000 in the last four years.
Goodrich has known Marie Clapp since she came to Country Meadows and now works as the Director of the Dementia unit at Sunrise Senior Living Facility in Frederick.
More than 400 guests watch dancers perform the foxtrot, Viennese Waltz and salsa. One couple from each group was awarded a trophy for the best presentation of each dance.
“This is the first time either Lindsay or I have participated in the Memory Ball,” Clapp said. “We had fun, and we’re happy to do what we can to fund research for a cure to this deadly disease.
Deb and Mark Nylec were inspired to dance after watching Mark’s father, Nick, suffer from dementia for 10 years. “The process was horrible,” said Deb Nylec, “and incredibly frustrating to see this 6-foot-1-inch, 200-pound man deteriorate. The need is so great for research, for a cure, and completely and totally for more answers for support.”
The Nylecs raised over $10K. “We loved the dance,” said Nylec. “We were treated like celebrities and it felt wonderful. And even though we didn’t win, we know Mark’s dad was not only watching, but completely laughing and finding humor in the whole dance lesson process.
For information on the recent Memory Ball, visit www.alz.org/maryland/in_my_community_57845.asp. For events, call the Alzheimer’s association locally at 301.696.0315. For assistance, information, volunteer opportunities and more, call 800.272.3900.