Paige McCoy, a high school senior from Warwick, R.I., held a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s disease in honor of her grandmother who passed away in May 2013 after her struggle with the disease. In a previous blog entry posted on January 15, 2014, Paige reflected on her relationship with her grandmother. In this installment, Paige reflects on her fundraising event and its impact.
When choosing the topic of my senior project, I knew that choosing Alzheimer’s disease would allow me to honor my grandmother whom I was very close with. I decided to add a second, voluntary aspect to my project by hosting an awareness event and fundraiser that would benefit the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA).
The event took place on the evening of October 26, 2013 at an armory in East Greenwich, R.I. The hall that I rented was very large, and the venue supplied many tables and chairs at no cost, which was absolutely outstanding. The room also had a stage where I could make a short speech and announce raffle winners.
It was important to me that the event included personal touches that my grandmother would love, so I incorporated her favorite color. Using a lavender and white color scheme for the invitations and the tablecloths allowed my grandmother’s presence to be felt.
I charged an admission fee of $10 for adults and $5s for kids ages five to 13; children four and younger were free. Through the support of stores and businesses that made generous donations, the event had had a wide variety of food, including finger sandwiches, calzones, party pizza, cookies and brownies, and many types of beverages such as juice pouches, waters, coffee and soda.. I was also fortunate enough to receive 27 gift card and basket donations for raffle prizes.
Prior to my event, I decided that I wouldn’t prepare anything word for word to say during my speech because I wanted it to come from the heart. I started to tear up while I was talking about my grandma, but I also dedicated my speech to all of the other people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. I mentioned some statistics about Alzheimer’s disease and talked about what AFA does to help people affected by the disease. I thanked my family, my friends, etc. At the end of the night, I made one more speech: I announced that we had raised $1,100 for AFA. And with this news, there was a standing ovation.