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?The Longest Day' charity event raises money for Alzheimer's Association

News Leader - 7/3/2018

Amelia Island Duplicate Bridge Club raised over $6,000 for the Alzheimer's Association in just one day of competitive play June 18 at the Peck Center. The annual event ? known as "The Longest Day" ? is organized by the American Contract Bridge League. In just six years, the national group has raised $3.5 million for the Alzheimer's Association "in order to advance the care, support and research of this disease."

"The Longest Day is all about love ? love for all those affected by Alzheimer's disease. During the week of the summer solstice, people all over the world ? do what they love ? playing bridge ? to help end Alzheimer's," the Alzheimer's Association explains on its website. The website goes on to say that "Alzheimer's has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer's treatments cannot stop Alzheimer's from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer's and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing."

This is the fourth year the Amelia Island Duplicate Bridge League has participated in "The Longest Day" and it was the group's most successful event yet. There were more than 50 participants who not only participated in the competitive play, but also a hearty breakfast, a delicious lunch, a restaurant raffle and some 50/50 action.

Every member of the club brought something to the table. Betty Bergman proudly proclaimed, "We have the greatest little club ? so generous in both giving and doing." Many members opted to wear large stickers that indicated for whom they were playing. Gale Ulmer was playing for her grandmother and Anne Kohlman was playing for her husband, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 10 years ago and now lives in Osprey Village. Another member, Gary Tenney, said that he was (indirectly) playing for his daughter in-law ? not because she has the disease but because she is a neurologist studying Alzheimer's at Vanderbilt University. Ulmer, this year's co-chair with Trish Booton, said that with bridge "the beauty is in the socialization and it's a lifelong skill. The more you play, the more you learn."


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