Alzheimer Society forced to make a special appeal

February 28, 2016


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As the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce prepares to celebrate our 30th anniversary in July of 2016, we are making a special appeal for financial support.

"We are facing the first significant deficit in our 29-year history," said Executive Director Deborah Barker.

The transition from the former Walk for Memories, which was held every January, to the new Walk for Alzheimer's which will take place on May 7, 2016, means we are experiencing a one-time loss of $70,000 in budgeted revenue in our 2015-16 fiscal year which ends March 31.

The Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce is a locally incorporated charitable organization with its own local volunteer board of governors. It is affiliated with other Alzheimer Societies in Ontario, and the Alzheimer Societies of Ontario and Canada through a formal federation agreement.

“We are a responsible organization with a long history of financially sound management,” said Executive Director Deborah Barker. “The move to the new National Walk for Alzheimer’s was a conscious decision in the long-term best interests of the local Society, but it has meant a short-term financial challenge.

“The new National Walk for Alzheimer’s will create more awareness and support going forward.”

The local society has made up some of the lost revenue through new fundraising events including a fashion show and a gala dinner dance and auction.

However the local Society is still well short of its 2015-16 fundraising goal.

“We still need to raise more than $30,000 to replace the Walk revenue,” she said.

The Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce is a service organization, with a staff of regulated health professionals providing information, education, support and counseling services to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and to their family members and caregivers.

“We are part of the province’s Aging At Home strategy – designed to keep people living at home as independently as possible for as long as possible,” Barker said. “However we are the only member of the service team that is not fully funded.”

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Only 60 per cent of the society’s annual budget is funded by government or other outside sources. The Society depends on the generosity of the Grey-Bruce Community for the balance of its funding.

Currently there are 3,546 persons in Grey-Bruce with a diagnosis of dementia. However, studies show that only about one third of those experiencing memory loss or cognitive impairment seek a diagnosis.

“That means that the true number of those affected could exceed 10,000,” Barker said. “Our current client base exceeds 1,000, and we know that that number is only going to keep growing as increased awareness and earlier diagnosis increase."

 “We are honoured to have very generous and wonderful support from the local community,” Barker added. “Our supporters believe in the value of the work we do and they want to help individuals and families who are affected.”

Barker said it is important to remember that money donated to the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce stays in the Grey-Bruce community to provide local services.

Donations can be made in person or by mail at the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce office at 753 2nd Ave. E. Owen Sound ON N4K 2G9. Donations can also be made by telephone at 519-376-7230 or 1-800-265-9013 or online at www.alzheimer.ca/greybruce 

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Sunday, February 28, 2016