By Thomas Bowler
Many people who have experienced Alzheimer’s can relate to the story of Electa Anderson. And, like many others, that experience has sparked in her a passion to do more for the cause through The Longest Day.
Electa Anderson, a long time resident of California, faced what felt like an insurmountable wall of adversity when her husband, Norm, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1999. The couple, moved back to their Seattle home to be near family and support. Since then, Norm’s fight against Alzheimer’s came to an end as he passed away about 10 years ago. Electa found the Alzheimer’s Association for support and resources. Since then, she has given a great deal back to the organization as a volunteer. Electa describes her journey with the Alzheimer’s Association, “Clearly in the beginning I was seeking information and support. I was involved in the Orange County Chapter for five years and did do some fundraising with them, and then we moved back to Seattle a year and half before Norm passed away and I was on the local board for six years. I’ll be on the national board. eight years. This is actually my last year which is pretty hard to believe”.
As a member of the National Board, Electa participates on a team with her fellow Board Members to support the The Longest Day. Electa talks about why she admires The Longest Day event, “I love The Longest Day because it reflects the caregivers longest day which I think tells an effective story”. The Longest Day® is an Alzheimer’s Association event and supports the mission of the organization: to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. The Longest Day is all about love; love for all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
People can participate in The Longest Day from anywhere in many different ways. The biggest hurdle that most participants face is the ability to effectively fundraise, which along with raising awareness for Alzheimer’s, is an essential goal of The Longest Day. Electa gave us insight on her most successful fundraising tips.
Looking at her own personal network, Electa determined who could donate small amounts and who could potentially donate large amounts, over $500, to her team. After laying out that initial part of her plan, she reached out to each person individually, “I wrote separate letters for both groups and those I felt could make a donation over $500. I made that commitment and asked if they could match that, or at least as well as they could” she says. Because Electa was making the same commitment and displayed an abundance of passion for the cause, her network gladly joined her, “I think I raised $6,000 my first year” Electa recalled.
Other effective fundraising activities people can do include dancing, bowling, craft, hike, performing, gardening, and music. Invite friends and family to join and support the cause, while fundraising to create a world without Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about how you can effectively fundraise for the Longest Day here or other fun activities you can do to raise awareness here.
Electa believes that while Alzheimer’s disease mainly affects older individuals, the younger generations need to be aware of the disease as well. Electa hopes to inspire the future generations of this world that they can and will make an impact and finish this fight against Alzheimer’s.