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Great Plains Chapter enews


Executive Director’s Column
by Brian Curtis

Staff Photos - Brian Curtis

Dear Friends,

July begins the start of our new fiscal year and it also marks my one year anniversary as Executive Director of the Great Plains Chapter of The Alzheimer’s Association.  As I look back over the past year I’m reminded of the many accomplishments staff and volunteers have made together,  as well as the many opportunities that still exist to make a difference in the lives of those individuals, businesses and organizations that have been touch by Alzheimer’s.  Although the days have been long and at times the “to do” list seemed insurmountable, somehow together we were able to achieve what we needed to achieve that would have the most positive impact on our mission and on public awareness. 

This past year has been an extraordinary year for the Great Plains Chapter and I’ve had no regrets!  Thanks to the hard work of a dedicated staff and the unwavering support of every one of our volunteers we were able to achieve much.  We increased our presence in communities from as far east as Lincoln, Nebraska to our furthest west community of Jackson, Wyoming.  Our Walks to End Alzheimer’s had record setting numbers of teams participate.  We have more than 55 active support groups meeting monthly and have done countless community education programs in churches, community centers and health care facilities throughout Nebraska and Wyoming.  Volunteers across the chapter are raising more dollars than ever through third party fundraisers and these same volunteers are participating with local media to increase awareness about the impact Alzheimer’s disease is having on the public.   No one person is responsible for this success.  Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire team (staff and volunteers) to keep our mission in front of the public.  Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and together we are making a difference.

Teamwork between staff, as well as teamwork with the many wonderful volunteers who represent us across our chapter, are why we have been so successful this past year.  No matter what we are doing, we have to pay attention to the details and always keep our focus on our consituents.  Serving those affected by Alzheimer’s is the only reason that the Great Plains Chapter exists and as your Executive Director you have my word that our entire team will continue to pay close attention to the details and in doing so you will never regret your decision to be involved with the Alzheimer’s Association or the Great Plains Chapter!         





Join us for the Walk to End Alzheimer's

The 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's Season is nearly here, and the committees of the 16 Walks scheduled in the chapter have been working tirelessly to make their events successful this year. As a chapter, we are at double the number of teams registered online compared to the same time last year. And, due to  the advance sponsorship and recruitment work of our staff and volunteers, our overall dollars raised YTD vs. 2012 are up 3000%! We've made amazing progress, but we still need YOU to form a team for or provide sponsorship to your nearest Walk. No Walk close to you? We have several teams and facilities that do virtual walks, raising funds to support Alzheimer's Care and research without the actual Walk. Register today at, or call the chapter office at 402-420-2540.


Walk Champion Highlight

Emily_Walk_2013_fundraising.jpgHere is a picture of 13 year old Emily, who is raising money for the Lincoln Walk to End Alzheimer's in memory of her Grandmother, who passed away last year. Emily makes and sells her own headbands and other jewelry. The demand is high, not just from her friends and classmates, but everyone! She has set up her stand in her driveway during the annual neighborhood garage sales, at the local farmers market, and is looking for other locations. She just reached the $1000 raised mark, on her own! (She raised over $800 last year) Her Mom, Jesy, is also a Champion. Their team raised almost $6000 last year!



The Longest Day - Team Highlight

Todd_Pickering_pub_photo_TLD.jpgSix teams from across the chapter took part in The Longest Day, a national event held on the summer solstice, where teams committed to doing something—walking, running, quilting, playing cards—from sunrise to sundown to raise funds and awareness. We had teams shopping, cycling, volunteering at memory care facilities, playing cards... and acting! Todd Pickering is an actor who grew up in Lincoln, and spent the last 25 years as an actor, director, and playwright in San Francisco  He recently returned to Lincoln to help his father care for his mother, who has Alzheimer's. When he heard about The Longest Day from the chapter staff, the wheels started turning. And soon, Todd had mobilized the Lincoln arts community to put on 16 hours of shows, all to benefit the Alzheimer's Association. Todd even went international- a friend in London, England, put on a show at 5:30 a.m. central (11:30 a.m. local time) to start off the morning. The highlight of the day was the 6:00 p.m.dramatic reading of Sharr White's Broadway play 'The Other Place," about a woman dealing with symptoms of undiagnosed early onset Alzheimer's Disease. At the end of the day, Todd's team, "Let's put on a show," was ranked 37th in the nation, out of more than 750 teams. Not just successful in fundraising, but his efforts brought new attention and awareness to the battles tens of thousands of you have had or are having. An amazing performance, indeed!






Become an Alzheimer's Ambassador

Become the face and voice for Alzheimer’s disease in your congressional district by joining the Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador Program!  For more information on how to get involved with the program, contact Jane Ploughman at





Find the support you need

Support Groups

Find support groups in your area - click hereFor more information call the Chapter Office at 402-420-2540

If you would prefer an intimate and confidential setting, call our 

24/7 Helpline – Call 1.800.272.3900

The Alzheimer's Association Helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in 140 languages. Our staff is highly trained and knowledgeable about all aspects of Alzheimer’s disease.  Confidential care consultation provided by master’s level clinicians who can help with decision-making support, crisis assistance and education on issues families face every day.




Dementia and Driving

Driving skills diminish with early Alzheimer'sFor people in the early stages of Alzheimer's, it is never too soon to plan ahead for how you will get around when you can no longer drive. Putting a plan in place can be an empowering way to make your voice heard.  Driving demands quick reaction time and decision making. Because of this, a person with Alzheimer’s will at some point be unable to drive. It’s important for individuals and their families to plan ahead and deal with the issue as early as possible after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis in order to help ease the transition.  The Alzheimer’s Association website has information and video scenarios showing four different families discussing dementia and driving.

Workshop Held In Jackson, WY 

 The Alzheimer's Association was pleased to partner with St. John's Institute for Cognitive Health and Wyoming Geriatric Education Center on the 2013 Cognitive Health & Memory Disorders Workshop. The event, which took place on June 6th & 7th in Jackson, Wyoming, featured keynote speaker David Knopman, MD, a renowned neurologist from the Mayo Clinic and member of the Alzheimer's Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Council. Dr. Knopman's remarks focused on the role of cardiovascular risk factors and cerebrovascular disease in late-life cognitive disorders. Other presenters included Martha Stearn, MD and Carol Taylor, LCSW of St. John's Institute for Cognitive Health and Tonja Woods, PharmD, CGP of the University of Wyoming. Evaluation responses from the 60 multi-disciplinary health professionals who attended the workshop were very positive, indicating a strong commitment to incorporating program knowledge into practice.

Jackson WY workshopWorkshop pic June 2013.jpeg



MembersOwn Credit Union presents $500 check to Great Plains Chapter

membersown.jpgMembersOwn pledged up to $500 to member Laura Bell's charity of choice if they received 100 Facebook "likes" in May. She chose the Alzheimer's Association, and we raised 100 Facebook "likes" for MembersOwn Credit Union with 10 days to go in the month.



2014 Great Plains Chapter Respite Care Assistance Available

The Respite Care Assistance Program is a program funded by the Alzheimer’s Association Great Plains Chapter.  The purpose of the program is to give family caregivers time to participate in recreational activities, run errands and/or simply to rest.  The program is set up so that the primary caregiver can utilize the services of a home health agency, adult daycare program or an independent  caregiver(neighbor, friend or family member) to care for their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease for a brief period of time.  The Association, based on acceptance into the program and availability of funds, will then reimburse the primary caregiver for those services.  Short-term nursing or residential care provided by an assisted living community may also be approved depending on individual circumstances. The maximum reimbursement amount is $500 per patient to be used by June 30, 2014.  Applications are available online here or by contacting Jane Ploughman at 402-420-2540 or



Caring For Your Parents

Do your parents depend on you? Do you have the answers? This program can help!

 The Lincoln Caregivers Education Committee will present this program.  The program will begin with the PBS film depicting five different family scenarios with the struggles faced by caregivers.  The DVD is about 30 minutes long, and is followed by actors/actresses from the Angels Theatre Company portraying a scenario.  A panel of professionals are present to answer questions during the discussion following. These professionals from the fields of health, finance, and the law will provide community resources and information.  The Alzheimer’s Association will be there to answer questions regarding Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia.  All are members of the Lincoln Caregivers Education Committee.  Questions will be encouraged from the audience throughout the event.  The Caregiver Organizer will also be available.   

Program Dates in Lincoln
Sept 12 at 7pm at Bryan Plaza
Sept 17 at 7pm at St. Luke United Methodist Church
October 8 at 7pm at Tabitha Main Building
Oct 10 at 12:00 Noon at St. Paul United Methodist Church.  

Contact Suzy Campbell for details at (402) 802-2309.



Save the Dates

Know the 10 Signs

Thursday, June 20, 7pm-8pm
The Villa, Good Samaritan Society
926 East E Street
Hastings, NE
(402) 460-3226


Know the 10 Signs

Wednesday, July 31, 6pm-7pm
Roper & Sons, Reception Hall
4300 “O” Street
Lincoln, NE 
(402) 420-2540


How to Communicate with a Person with Memory Loss

Thursday, August 22, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Peterson Senior Center
2020 W. 11th Street
Kearney, NE
(308) 233-3290


Know the 10 Signs

Thursday, August 29, 6pm-7pm
Roper & Sons, Reception Hall
4300 “O” Street
Lincoln, NE
(402) 420-2540


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For more information about Alzheimer's Association, Great Plains, please contact us at:

1500 South 70th Street Ste. 201 24/7 Helpline: 1.800.272.3900
Lincoln, NE 68506

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is 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. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease.


Alzheimer’s Association National Office, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601
© 2012 Alzheimer’s Association. All rights reserved. | 800.272.3900

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