Bridge players from all around the U.S. are set to play on Sunday, June 21, to raise funds for the benefit of patients with Alzheimer's disease.
The Alzheimer's Association initiated the event dubbed "The Longest Day" to help combat the disease that has been disabling older adults.
The Longest Day represents the numerous struggles that patients and caregivers of those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease experience every day.
The event will be held all day with three 18-board games, which will be conducted at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. These games are free of charge and lunch will be served. Each player will have guaranteed partners and may choose how many games they want to participate in.
Bridge players and clubs have expressed their support to combat the disease as more than $1 million have been donated by them in collaboration with the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). This effort aims to eliminate Alzheimer's disease in two years.
Bridge Heroes United is a group of bridge players created through the association of the Northern Virginia Bridge Association and the Washington Bridge League, which uses superhero names in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.
The group was able to gather $22,000 dollars in 2014. It looks like it will be able to exceed this amount through the event on Sunday. The team captain is Black Widow, whose real name is Yuen DeAnda, who is especially involved since her own father was diagnosed with the disease.
A member of the Bridge Club of Atlanta pledged to pay for the entrance fee of any junior who will appear at the club. The Valley View Bridge Club in Dallas, meanwhile, showed its support by offering games and lessons during the entire day of the event.
If one cannot participate in Sunday's event, bridge players may still help by placing bids in the Kibitz for a Cause online auction. The person with the highest donation will be given a chance to play online with a professional through Bid 2 Bid.
Members of the Redwood Bridge Club teamed up with five chapters of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) in Southern California and came up with a fundraising tactic called "Ride the Bridges." Through this collaboration, the two groups aim to raise more money for the benefit of patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Trish White, co-captain for the Redwood Bridge Club's TLD team, is particularly thankful as she was diagnosed with a plaque in her brain that may subsequently progress to Alzheimer's disease. She started playing bridge after the clinical findings in the hope of preventing the disease and preserving her cognitive and memory functions.
"I have the hope that playing bridge will at least slow the tide of Alzheimer's for me and for others who have been told the dreadful news," said White. "As for the fundraising, what can I say? Keep hope alive!"
Alzheimer's is a bad disease, said Marietta Georgia, long-time ACBL director and owner of a bridge club called Ruff-n-Sluff. She expressed her group's desire to help the association in all possible ways. She encourages everyone to get up early and take part in the event even if it means getting up early on a weekend. Anything for a good cause.
Photo: ccarlstead | Flickr