What is the Longest Day? Designing a fundraising event around you  

By Denise Ward, development manager TLD/Gala, Alzheimer’s Association Central & North Florida Chapter

Walks, galas and luncheons are fun events where we have the opportunity to celebrate a cause and raise dollars for them. They allow us to enjoy ourselves while engaging with our work or personal circles.  However, sometimes life gets in the way and we are not able to attend the things we want but still want to help. That’s where The Longest Day initiative fits in. 

The Longest Day is the day with the most light — the summer solstice. On June 21, thousands of participants from across the world come together to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice. Together, they use their creativity and passion to raise funds and awareness for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The possibilities are endless, so how do you narrow it down?

  • Pick a time of year that works for you.  If you are like me, Spring is busy, so fitting something else in will cause too much stress. I would instead choose to do something in the Summer when it is a little quieter. Or maybe the opposite is true for you? Also consider what kind of event works. For example, the birthday of a loved one living with Alzheimer’s is a wonderful way to celebrate and honor them. 
  • Consider your hobbies. Do you love to play pickleball? Do you play in a league? Ask if you can have a tournament where the proceeds would benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Maybe you walk every day? Try setting up a walk-a-thon and ask friends and family to pledge an amount for every mile you walk. Are you a fabulous baker? Teach an online or in-person class and charge a fee or simply ask for donations to participate. Do something you are familiar with, something you enjoy.  You could also choose an activity that the person you are doing this for loved. Maybe your mom was a bunko player? In that case, set up a tournament in her honor.  A beautiful way to engage those that loved your mom.  
  • Share your why. Let others know why you are doing what you are doing. Almost everyone knows someone who has Alzheimer’s or a form of dementia. Sharing your why will help others relate to your story and increase participation in your event. Let people know what strides have been made in the fight against Alzheimer’s and how they can support their community. 
  • Speak to your Longest Day development manager. We are trained to help bring your ideas to fruition. We can work with you to narrow down ideas or expand, whatever is needed.  Many times, we have connections that can help you achieve your goals. We want to see you succeed.

Remember to have fun with this. You are doing this out of love for someone and what an amazing way to honor them! Visit alz.org/thelongestday to sign up and select an activity. Register by June 5 to get your t-shirt in time for the Summer Solistic or contact your local Longest Day development manager: 

Central & North Florida – Denise Ward – dlward@alz.org

Southeast Florida – Haley Register – hmregister@alz.org

Florida Gulf Coast – Pamela Maren – pmmaren@alz.org

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