- BC Games
Generosity of many people greatly appreciated
Editor: The English language is rich in its variety, but seems surprisingly limited when it comes to expressing gratitude. We seem to have to make do with two simple words, thank you, when often we wish to convey much more than that.
On Sunday, Aug. 11, two remarkable people, Robin and Art Bandenieks, opened their glorious Aldergrove property and their big hearts for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and the 2013 Ascent of Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s, of which I am a part.
More than 100 supporters gathered in summer sunshine to raise awareness of the needs of dementia victims — present and future — and to push my fundraising goal past the $10,000 mark. Thanks to their efforts and the individual contribution of one remarkable Langley resident, my total as of Monday, Aug. 19, stands at $11,441.
Thanks are due to so many, starting with our omnipresent local media, whose support in covering the campaign and the event helped considerably. Our silent auction was aided magnificently by Aldergrove-area businesses, many of whom are asked constantly for donations and who never fail to respond, and by generous individual contributions.
Our superb musical entertainment was courtesy of Braces and Cuffs, supplemented in the unavoidable absence of its key fiddler by some impromptu guests.
Gratitude is also due to a volunteer crew of Karen and Bob Long, Pauline Buck, Tannis Percival and Mike and Matthew Brownie, without whom the show literally would not have got off the ground; also to the culinary talents of Alex Bandenieks.
More than 70,000 British Columbians already suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia and the toll is predicted to rise dramatically as baby boomers age. The effects of dementia often land heaviest upon the shoulders of the caregivers, who have to juggle existing responsibilities (families and jobs) with the demands of loved ones slowly vanishing from the lives they knew.
I shall be leaving next month to try to reach Uhuru Peak, at 19,341 feet the summit of Africa’s tallest massif. The five-day ascent will test my abilities to handle high altitude and the vagaries of a strenuous hike. I shall be taking with me some ashes of a friend’s husband who recently died of Alzheimer’s, to honour his memory and remind me of my good fortune in having the health to tackle such a climb.
The victims of dementia are often isolated inside walls of silence not of their design, but I hope that those whose actions can speak for them will make sure their cries for help will continue to be addressed. And of course donations to the Ascent can continue to be made. See ascentbc.ca for more details.
team member, 2013 Ascent for Alzheimer’s,