BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – A “Drive to end Alzheimer’s” hit the streets of Brown County on Sunday, with 20 specific destinations along the way.
“This is the second annual drive. It’s really important because now residents of Memory Care Facilities and Dementia patients are not able to get out because of the times that we’re living in,” said Kathryn Gardner of The Automobile Gallery.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the surge of reported cases, have forced some residents to remain isolated. For that reason, organizers decided to start a car parade. “It’s a drive where classic car owners gather and we parade past senior care facilities, assisted living, and memory care,” said Cari Josephson of Alzheimer’s Association.
For Gene Fiala, this parade is personal. “I lost my mom to Dementia in the last year, so this really hits close to home for me,” said Fiala. Gene spoke to Local 5’s Eric Richards, saying his mother was able to tell him how she was feeling. ” She said it’s like she could see on both sides, but couldn’t see straight ahead, like she was in a tunnel,” said Gene.
Organizers share that people who are dealing with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can actually have their memories jogged by seeing classic cars. One hundred percent of the proceeds collected at the event go towards local Alzheimer’s Association Chapters for continued research and renewed hope.
“There is hope. At the Alzheimer’s Association specifically, we are working tirelessly to make advancements,” said Cari. Those advancements include trial/case studies. Gene and Kathryn had special messages to share for anyone who is affected by the disease:
For the person who is diagnosed, your family is going to be very supportive in most cases, go to a good facility.Gene Fiala
My heart really goes out to families that have this running in their families.Kathryn Gardner