DUNEDIN — When Steve Olson of Dunedin lost his mother to Alzheimer’s disease in 2018, he became determined to help find a cure. Last year, he hosted the inaugural Paint Dunedin Purple fundraiser, which raised nearly $10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Now, he is asking local businesses and patrons to help him “paint” the town again.
“Even with all the unexpected challenges of 2020, we are really excited about the second annual Paint Dunedin Purple event on Aug. 15,” Olson said. “We may have fewer businesses participate this year, but are looking at between 25 and 30 right now.”
Originally planned for June, which is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, this year’s Paint Dunedin Purple fundraiser was rescheduled for Saturday, Aug. 15, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association’s Longest Day fundraising initiative, encourages businesses and their patrons to wear purple — the signature color of the Alzheimer’s Association — and host their own individual fundraisers in support of the organization.
For the fundraisers, some businesses may choose to donate a portion of the day’s sales, while others might raffle off items or offer discounts and specials. Online fundraisers are also an option for businesses that are currently closed or limiting operations due to COVID-19. For instance, the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce is participating by selling custom The Longest Day Performance Dri-Fit T-shirts — sponsored by Dunedin Refrigeration and Hoover Digital — on its website.
According to the “2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report,” released by the Alzheimer’s Association in March, more than 5 million Americans are currently battling Alzheimer’s disease, including 580,000 Floridians and their more than 1 million caregivers.
As Olson used to be one of those caregivers, he knows firsthand the many challenges associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia. He also knows that the Alzheimer’s Association is a vital resource for the millions of people facing those challenges.
“I really don’t see myself as a fundraiser,” he said. “I am a person who lost his mom to a horrible disease and wants to help others who are experiencing the same thing. The work of the Alzheimer’s Association is a lifeline to those with the disease and maybe even more so to those who care for them.”
The Alzheimer’s Association stands ready to help all those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia. For assistance, visit www.alz.org or contact the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.
For information about the second annual Paint Dunedin Purple fundraiser, visit www.facebook.com/PaintDunedinPurple. To register a business and join the fight, visit act.alz.org/goto/paintdunedinpurple.