The Alzheimer’s Association has announced The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) as a Global Team for The Longest Day 2018®, a day about love dedicated to all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Since joining The Longest Day as a Global Team in 2012, ACBL and its members have raised more than $3.5 million for the Alzheimer’s Association care, support and research programs, including more than $1 million in 2017 alone. ACBL is the first Global Team to raise $1 million in a single season for The Longest Day.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is inspired and motivated by the dedication and commitment of bridge players across the country in support of our mission,” said Donna McCullough, chief development officer for the Alzheimer’s Association. “The critical funds and awareness that ACBL teams are raising will help individuals and families facing this disease, while helping us get closer to achieving our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. We are grateful to ACBL and its members, many of whom have a personal connection to the disease, for their outstanding continued support.”
Held annually on the summer solstice, The Longest Day symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Participants will do what they love – playing bridge, biking, hiking, swimming, knitting and more – to honor a caregiver, someone living with Alzheimer’s, or someone lost to this devastating disease. Together, participants will raise funds and awareness to advance Alzheimer’s Association care, support and research programs.
“It’s no secret that bridge can challenge your mind, and a number of studies indicate that maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active through activities such as bridge may delay cognitive decline and possibly dementia as we age,” said Joe Jones, executive director of the ACBL. “Many of our members have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, and by participating in The Longest Day, the ACBL is providing them an opportunity to raise funds to support the Alzheimer’s Association by participating in an activity they love.”
During The Longest Day 2017, there were more than 5,400 tables and 125,000 hands of bridge played with over 7,000 players between the ages 13 to 100. Global Team ACBL will be participating in The Longest Day for the sixth year by playing bridge, raising funds, and promoting healthy brain and body activities consistent with the Alzheimer’s Association 10 Ways to Love Your Brain campaign.
Key facts about Alzheimer’s include:
- Worldwide, there are an estimated 47 million people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
- More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. This number is expected to nearly triple by 2050 unless effective treatments are advanced, according to the Alzheimer’s Association® 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report.
- Additionally, there are more than 15 million caregivers nationwide providing care and support to those living with the disease.
- Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the country, and the only cause of death among the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
- Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America, exceeding a quarter of a trillion dollars ($277 billion) with projections to increase to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050.
To participate or to learn more about The Longest Day visit alz.org/thelongestday or facebook.com/fightalz. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org.