“Dad loved fishing,” shares Brenda Childs of Durham, NC. “He was one of nine children, so we had a large extended family. When we were younger, many of us would go to Myrtle Beach pier fishing together each October.” In addition to fishing, Brenda’s father, Jack Hodges, enjoyed spending the days working in his garden and spending as much time as possible outdoors. “I shelled many peas in my lifetime,” laughs Brenda. Jack was also known for his wonderful sense of humor among his work colleagues at the various banks and organizations he worked for and with over the span of his career.
Brenda and her family noticed a change in Jack in that he would sit and look out the window staring at the airplanes as well as the plumes they left behind for hours. He began talking less and less.
Brenda first became involved with the Alzheimer’s Association through Walk To End Alzheimer’s in Roanoke, Virginia where her niece works in a dementia unit day care center. This was before the cause became more personal for Brenda last February when her father was diagnosed with dementia. Jack’s condition deteriorated quickly and he lost his battle on March 3, 2020.
Brenda admits that due to her father’s rapid decline, they did not have an opportunity to seek support from the Alzheimer’s Association. “Research is very important to me, and I want to find a cure while I am still around,” she asserts. “My mother-in-law had dementia as well. I spent a good bit of time with her in the last years of her life.”
Last year, albeit by accident, Brenda signed up for The Longest Day, where thousands of participants from across the world fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice. She raised almost $1,300 through selling her delicious baked cheesecakes, virtual bingo games and virtual Pampered Chef Kitchen Shows. This is in addition to the nearly $1,500 Brenda also raised for Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Triangle (Raleigh-Durham).
Brenda’s advice to anyone considering hosting The Longest Day fundraiser this year: “You can do it and it’s for a good cause.” She shared that she was hesitant about signing up again this year, particularly in a virtual world, but she’s committed to finding a cure. “Another bit of advice, if you’re overflowing with ideas, pace yourself.”
Speaking of ideas, Brenda’s main fundraiser for this year’s The Longest Day will be a virtual dog show, Paws To End Alzheimer’s. The concept evolved from a brainstorming session. “While I enjoy baking, I wanted to pursue other fundraising alternatives.”
Brenda’s commitment to The Longest Day stems from the fact that not only is it the day with the most light, it represents shedding light onto the darkness of Alzheimer’s and reflects upon how dim someone’s life who lives with the disease can become. “My Dad always looked forward to the winter solstice each year, as it signified the fact that the days were on their way to getting longer. He would have been a fan of The Longest Day.” As Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “There is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed.”
Paws to End Alzheimer’s
Interested in learning more about the virtual dog show? Think your dog is the cutest? Has the best trick? Best costume? Or the best rescue story? Here’s your pup’s time to shine. With just a $30 donation you can enter your furbaby into two of the above categories. There will be 3 prizes (real prizes) in each category. Prizes will be provided by The Unleashed Mutt.
Votes will counted by the number of likes each dog gets. If there is a tie, a group of judges will break the tie.
Videos are allowed for best trick and rescue story. Photos will work for best costume and cutest.
The winners will be announced on June 21.
The winners will be determined by the number ‘likes’ each photo receives.
Entries now open! Learn More and enter your pup.
LIKE BRENDA WE ALL HAVE A REASON TO GET CREATIVE IN THE FIGHT FOR A WORLD WITHOUT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE. Start planning your own The Longest Day Fundraiser today.
The day with the most light is the day we fight! On The Longest Day, thousands of participants from across the world will come together to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice. Together, they will use their creativity and passion to raise funds and awareness for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association®. Whether participating at home, online or in-person, we have plenty of fun ideas to engage family and friends in The Longest Day. Join the fun today!