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LARSO helps raise funds for Alzheimer’s

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Tuesday was national Alzheimer’s Day and this weekend the volunteers of the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization will raise funds for the cause locally.
Saturday’s event will host a slew of activities beginning at 4 p.m. at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, with same -day registration and a gift basket raffle.
LARSO Director and member of the race committee, Pauline Powell Schneider is excited about the baskets donated by a large number of individuals and businesses. “People purchase tickets (6 for $5) and put their tickets with whatever items they hope to win. Donated raffle items include memory albums, manicures, tools, movie rentals, a genuine Hill Diner banana cream pie, a tie-dye hoodie, various business gift certificates, candles and much more,” Schneider said.
The Alzheimer race/walk committee is made up of a number of local citizens who are passionate about supporting families dealing with Alzheimer’s and raising funds to find a cure. The membership includes family caregivers, professionals working with the local support group and clients in residential care and at the senior center.  
The committee is assisted through the efforts of the New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association who have a joint goal of raising $15,000 to assist with local, statewide and national efforts.
This crew has made some changes for 2010 to add to their fundraising ventures including selling forget-me-nots. The purple paper flowers include a place to put a name in honor or memory of one who has, or had, Alzheimer’s disease. The flowers will be used to create small paper gardens at the center.
Another change to the annual event this year is an evening stroll.  The route begins at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, heads to Ashley Pond and around the Historic District.
Food is another big draw for the day with local businesses going the extra mile to help area seniors and their families.
“The burgers, donated by the Elks Lodge and the hot dogs and buns, from the Los Alamos Retirement Community, will be grilled, thanks to our great volunteers. The rest of the meal will be underwritten by our local AARP chapter,” Schneider said.
Additional sponsors include the Netuschil Development Corporation, Plateau Property Management and Los Alamos National Bank.
Opening ceremonies kick off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the walk and an awards ceremony. One of the coveted awards is being sought by both Betty Ehart Senior Center and the White Rock Center. The two programs will continue to duke it out this week in a fun tribute to raise the most funds and secure the memorial Jerry Bower trophy.
Additional volunteers can still be utilized for the big day. For more information call 662-8923.
Walkers, runners and shoppers are also welcome and can find out more by calling 662-8920.