Central New York Chapter News & Action Center

The End of Alzheimer's Begins with You.

Greater Utica Walk to End Alzheimer’s Changes Seasons, Location

Walk Purple Ping

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the national movement to unite millions in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Beginning in 2015, the Greater Utica Walk will change seasons from fall to spring. The 2015 Greater Utica Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on April 26 at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica.

“Central New York winter’s are long and brutal,” said Georgia Vieira, associate development director for the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter and manager of the Greater Utica event. “People want to get out after the snow melts and the weather warms up. Why not make that first walk of the spring one for a great cause?”

While the 2015 Walk is only seven months after the 2014 version, it sets the stage for the event to take place every spring. The event also changes homes this year to SUNY Polytechnic Institute from New Hartford Senior High School.

“We are happy to call SUNY Poly our new home,” Vieira said. “It’s a beautiful campus, very close to Downtown Utica and just off the expressway and Thruway. Plus, we have the added benefit of self-containing everything on the campus and keeping people off of streets and out of residential areas. It’s the perfect location for a Walk likes ours that is looking for a more permanent home.”

Online registration and paper registration forms are available at www.alz.org/walk or by calling (315) 617-4025. The 2014 Walk raised nearly $37,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association. Teams from the Utica Comets and Alpine Rehabilitation Center in Little Falls were among the top fundraisers at the 2014 event.

Volunteer Committee Chair Seeks Assistance
nangelicolaA volunteer committee will work with Chapter staff to plan the event. Nick Angelicola of roi Office Interiors in Rome chairs the group of corporate and community representatives from the Mohawk Valley. Booz Allen Hamilton, the U.S. Air Force, and Utica Comets are among the organizations represented on the group.

Angelicola became involved with the event after watching both of his grandmothers live with the disease. “Growing up, Alzheimer’s disease has been prevalent in my life,” Angelicola said. My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with the disease at 54. At a young age I witnessed the terrible pain that this disease caused my Grandmother and my family daily.”

Angelicola’s grandmother fought the disease for 17 years before losing her battle. Recently, his paternal grandmother was diagnosed.

“The pain of the disease does not diminish the second time around,” he said. “Now that I am older, I am able to grasp the full magnitude of the disease. I can now see the affect this disease has on my grandfather, and my entire family.”

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a community effort powered by volunteers. Angelicola’s hope is to build a robust committee that not only assists on the day of event, but can spread awareness for the event by recruiting new walkers and teams, working with returning participants, and seeking support from the corporate community.

“I hope that having someone from the community advocating for the disease will help the community rally behind the cause and have a huge impact on finding a cure and supporting those who are affected by these terrible disease,” Angelicola said. To join the committee or learn about volunteer opportunities related to Walk, contact Vieira at (315) 617-4025 x120 or by email.

CNY Chapter Named Beneficiary of #unSelfieCNY Giving Contest

The Central New York Community Foundation announced today that the winner of last week’s #unSelfieCNY charitable drawing is Chuck Fiello, Jr. Chuck designated the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter to receive the $1,000 grant prize. Fiello designated that the gift be awarded in the honor if his mother, Cynthia Fiello, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in her late-50s.

“It hurts watching my mother go through this, but I am happy knowing that such a great thing is being done in her honor for the holidays,” said Fiello. “I wanted to help in hopes that others one day won’t spend their holidays wondering how much their loved ones remember holiday memories. With the help of the Community Foundation’s gift, I received one of the best Christmas wishes I could ever ask for.”

The Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter, which is dedicated to the elimination of Alzheimer’s disease and the support of individuals who have been diagnosed with it, is delighted to receive the grant support.

“We are grateful that Chuck selected the Alzheimer’s Association to receive this charitable gift,” said Catherine James, chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter. “The photo he used featuring him and his mom at an SU football game is a reminder of why the work of the Chapter is important. While you may not be impacted by the disease, chances are very good that you know someone who is. That reminder of our mission is the real power of the Central New York Community Foundation’s #unSelfieCNY contest.”

In just 24 hours, hundreds of individuals of all ages, families, and nonprofit staff, board and volunteers turned a camera on themselves for a “selfie” but this time for a charitable purpose. Members of the public were asked to “Tell Your Giving Story” in the form of an “unSelfie” – a photo of themselves stating what inspires them to give back to the community. Posting the photo to a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account with the hashtag #unSelfieCNY made it eligible for the Community’s Foundation random drawing to designated a $1,000 grant to a Central New York charity.

“Central New York is full of generous people and the #unSelfieCNY effort really highlighted that,” said Peter Dunn, Community Foundation President and CEO. “The people behind the organizations and causes featured in the submitted photos exemplify selflessness during this holiday season. While this effort was focused on only one day, we hope everyone who participated or observed are inspired to support local causes throughout the year.”

Those interested in seeing the #unSelfies posted can visit cnycf.org/givingtuesday.

Alzheimer’s Association Offers Gift Guide for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Caregivers

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, and the holiday shopping season is in full force. Buying presents for friends and family can be difficult enough, but what if the person you are shopping for has Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia?

“Gift giving for someone with a dementia diagnosis can be a challenge,” said Catherine James, chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter. “It’s important to keep in mind the ways in which the person has changed because of the disease, the stage of the disease at which they are at, as well as their interests.”

“Just because a person has Alzheimer’s disease does not mean they are no longer interested in their lifelong hobbies. It means the approach to the hobby has to change. As caregivers, we may have to assist the person in initiating the activity,” James said. Continue reading “Alzheimer’s Association Offers Gift Guide for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Caregivers” »

Upcoming Webinars Focus on Behaviors, Holiday Caregiving

manning_logo_rasterIn commemoration of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and National Caregivers Months, the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter will conduct two webinars over the next week for dementia caregivers.

Holidays with People with Dementia on Nov. 20 from Noon to 1 p.m.: Learn tips for making the holidays easier, including hosting holiday events, how the person can participate, attending holiday events with the person, and adapting gift giving.

Behaviors and Personal Care on Nov. 25 from Noon to 1 p.m.: Learn quick tips for helping your loved one with personal care, such as bathing and dressing. Have your questions answered around difficult behaviors and challenging personal care situations.

These webinars will be presented live and are designed for the working caregiver to view during the lunch hour. The program is scheduled for 30 to 45 minutes with ample time for questions and answers of our dementia care team. The presentations are free of charge and registration can be completed in advance by clicking the names of the specific presentation above.

Webinars presented by the Central New York Chapter are a special presentation of the Marty Manning Online Education Center, named in memory of the longtime caregiver, support group facilitator and advocate. Learn more about the center and its live and on-demand library of programs by visiting its webpage.

Thanksgiving at the CNY Chapter


With Thanksgiving coming up next week, we wanted to let you know about our hours and how you can reach us over the holiday.

Wednesday, Nov. 26: Chapter offices, including the Kirkpatrick Day Program, will close at their regular times (4:30 p.m. for offices, 5:30 p.m. for the day program).

Thursday, Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving): Offices are closed.

Friday, Nov. 28: Offices are closed.

All offices reopen on their regular schedule on Monday, Dec. 1.

Just because our office doors are locked does not mean that you cannot reach a dementia expert during the holiday. Our 24-Hour Helpline will operate throughout the weekend at 1-800-272-3900. Our website is also available at www.alz.org. Our team will also be posting to social media through the weekend, so make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Even though we are taking some time away for the holiday, you will never be more than a phone call away from someone to listen.

Smile and Give While Shopping at Amazon.com


The holidays are drawing near and it seems like the shopping season has already started. We have a few staff members at the Chapter that refuse to step foot into a mall during the holidays and prefer to do all of their shopping online.

If you are like them, or plan to make just a couple of online purchases, listen up! You can not only get gifts for everyone on your list, but support the Alzheimer’s Association in the process.

Amazon.com’s Smile program donates a percentage of your purchase to nonprofits like the Central New York Chapter. All you have to do is click our special link, rather than typing in Amazon.com into your browser. They take care of the rest! The more you buy, or the more people who buy using our link, the more our organization earns!

Grant Fletcher: An MCM Alz Star


Most of you know Grant Fletcher as the associate development director based at the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter office in Syracuse. He is a familiar face at Walk to End Alzheimer’s™, the coordinator of the Unforgettable Comedy Challenge, and a veteran member of the Chapter staff.

On October 26, Grant was just a number and he was proud of it.

Bib number 2248 was pinned to Grant’s shirt, as he was one of the 19,661 participants in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. He posted a net time of 6 hours, 39 minutes and 32 seconds, keeping a pace of about 15 minutes per mile over the 26.2-mile course.

Grant’s goal was to “beat the bridge,” and we’ll get to that in a few minutes, but his inspirations for the race were a little closer to home. After all, why would a man with knees beaten from years of downhill skiing choose to run a marathon of all things?

The messages on the front of his jersey told the story. Continue reading “Grant Fletcher: An MCM Alz Star” »

Walk To End Alzheimer’s Attracts Record Number of Walkers, Raises Nearly $322,000


Thank you.

After the last trick-or-treater left your doorstep. After the kids went to bed. After the evening news and 11 p.m. SportsCenter. After 31 days of October, the clock struck midnight, and Friday became Saturday. With one simple tick of the clock, the curtain drew on the 2014 Walk To End Alzheimer’s season.

The five events in 2014 were the best attended Walks in the history of the Central New York Chapter. Four of the five sites posted attendance records and the Chapter had an all-time high of 3,126 people register for the event. Together, our walkers and corporate partners contributed $321,899 towards our worldwide fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Top Individual and Team Fundraisers


Special congratulations go to Tayloe Loftus, the Memory Keepers, the Utica Comets, and United Journey. Tayloe, who walked in Syracuse with Team Tayloe, was the Chapter’s top individual fundraiser with $4,360. He was followed by Lucia Johnson from the North Country Walk at $3,492, and Marva Cook, also from Syracuse, at $3,205.

At the Greater Binghamton Walk To End Alzheimer's presented by United Methodist Homes, it's the team from United Methodist Homes

At the Greater Binghamton Walk To End Alzheimer’s presented by United Methodist Homes, it’s the team from United Methodist Homes

Lucia’s team, the Memory Keepers, raised $6,160 for Walk 2014. They were highest fundraising family and friends team Chapterwide, as well as the second-highest fundraising team in any division.

Lucia Johnson, seated at left, and her daughters make up the Memory Keepers team at the North Country Walk To End Alzheimer's presented by Kinney Drugs Foundation and Save-A-Lot Stores

Lucia Johnson, seated at left, and her daughters make up the Memory Keepers team at the North Country Walk To End Alzheimer’s presented by Kinney Drugs Foundation and Save-A-Lot Stores

The Utica Comets were the top corporate fundraising team, contributing $9,400 at the Greater Utica event. United Journey, a team of family members, staff, and residents from the United Helpers Maplewood campus in Canton, raised $6,056 for the North Country Walk and was the top fundraising senior care team for the Chapter.

Thank yous are owed to all of our Walk sponsors, particularly those presenting sponsors that made substantial financial commitments to the success of our events. They include:

And for all of that, we offer our most heartfelt thanks as we endure together on the journey to our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.