GREENVILLE - Holly Hill, director of marketing at the Brethren Retirement Community (BRC), reported 84 luminaries were lit in honor of or in memory of a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease.
This was done Wednesday night at the facility during closing ceremonies of The Longest Day, which began at sunrise, 6:08 a.m.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s signature event, “The Longest Day,” was happening around the world to honor those facing Alzheimer’s Disease and remember loved ones who were afflicted with this tragic disease. This event is designed to pull communities together to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer’s and to raise awareness of the disease and the urgent need to find a cure and cause.
The local event saw walkers taking shifts and continuously walking around the BRC’s large pond until sunset, approximately 9:08 pm. At the closing ceremony, Eric VanVlymen, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association was here to speak at the lighting of the luminaries.
Luminaries with the name of your loved one(s) could be purchased for a donation to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Brethren Retirement Community was able to raise more than $2100 for the Alzheimer’s Association yesterday,” said Hill. “More than 215 miles was walked from sunrise to sunset by residents, staff, families and community members. Flash mob took place at 10 a.m. with about 30 residents and staff participating. They danced to ‘Splish Splash!’”
According to Hill, Todd Reish, BRC’s chaplain, walked the most laps - 122 laps or 20 miles. John Warner, president and CEO, ran 13.1 miles in the morning and walked more at the closing ceremonies. He completed more than 98 laps.
She also noted that 1,442 laps were walked for a total of 240.33 miles, with 200 total walkers. Chelsea Halderman, director of Senior FITness, ran 77 laps, and Peggy Kidwell, a Chestnut Village resident, walked 25 laps, the most laps by a resident.
“We did have to stop the walking for a few hours during the storm, but as soon as the weather cleared we were able to continue,” Hill said. “There turned out to be a beautiful sunset for our closing remarks by Eric VanVlymen, who addressed the crowd at sunset and thanked them for their support of the Alzheimer’s Association. Janet Julian, senior vice president, then read the names of those on the luminaries that surrounded the pond. We closed the Longest Day with a beautiful song and prayer from the Brethren Retirement Community Chaplains Todd Reish and Paula Ulrich.”